Doctors, police clash outside PA building
Police arrests 40 protesting doctors, releasing all after an hour
Traffic system, school and college students among those most affected by protest
LAHORE (March 29, 2011): Police, on Tuesday, arrested around 40 protesting doctors from The Mall when they tried to enter the Punjab Assembly (PA) building as a mark of protest regarding their demand of a better pay package for doctors.
All those arrested, however, were released after an hour.
Over 300 doctors belonging to the Punjab chapter of Young Doctors Association (YDA) took out rallies on Tuesday morning from major teaching hospitals of the provincial capital, including Lahore General Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Jinnah, Sir Ganga Ram, Services and Mayo Hospital and marched towards The Mall.
They staged a sit-down outside the PA building and raised slogans against Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif as well as the health secretary for not addressing their demands of salary increase. The doctors continued their protest by blocking the road from both the sides for four hours, causing problems for motorists and other citizens.
The PA session was in progress at the time. Police deputed at the PA building and on The Mall arrested a few doctors when they tried entering the premises of the building in order to draw attention of the public representatives towards their protest. Consequently, some minor scuffles between the protesters and the police took place.
The doctors, however, continued with their protest for another two hours and police arrested several other activists of the YDA when they made another attempt to cross the fences and barriers around the PA.
The YDA office-bearers claimed that police took into custody over 100 doctors while the police denied any arrest, saying that several striking medics reached police stations themselves.
The hours-long protest badly affected traffic not only on The Mall but also on the adjoining roads where motorists had to wait for hours.
In addition to the traders running businesses in the area, schoolchildren and college students were amongst those most affected by the protest.