Pakistan: Terrible police aggression against the doctors at Nishter

On May 23, a drastic clash occurred between members of the Punjab police force and the doctors working in the emergency unit of Nishter Hospital in Multan (Pakistan). According to some reports, two doctors working at the Nishter Hospital's emergency unit started to quarrel about the blood test of a patient.

On May 23, a drastic clash occurred between members of the Punjab police force and the doctors working in the emergency unit of Nishter Hospital in Multan (Pakistan). According to some reports, two doctors working at the Nishter Hospital's emergency unit started to quarrel about the blood test of a patient. One of the doctors was on close terms with Mr. Javed Jaskani, the additional superintendent of police (ASP) of the Multan Cantt., as he is a relative of his.

The doctor called his relative and the ASP responded immediately, attending the call of his relative and not the call of law. The police, lead by the ASP, immediately turned up at the Nishter Hospital emergency unit.

It is a constitutional right that hospital territory may not to be entered by any force without the prior permission of the hospital administration. The ASP ignored all the rules and, taking the law in his own hands, entered the emergency unit of the hospital threatening all the patient s (who were in a critical state) there and also warned all the doctors present of dire consequences.

Meanwhile the ASP seized a doctor who was on duty, handcuffed him inside the hospital and started beating him and striking him with the butt of his rifle. The other doctors protested against this atrocious behaviour of the police, and they were also treated in the same manner, being beaten and insulted by the police force.

Meanwhile the condition of the patients present in the emergency unit worsened. The doctors called the higher authorities and requested that they demand the police to leave the emergency unit. The ASP refused to listen even to the higher authorities and continued to beat the doctors. Some of the high profile people beaten by the police were: Dr Shahid Rao, president of the PMA, Dr Ali, a professor, and Dr Shabeer Ahmed Nasir, Principal executive officer of the Nishter Hospital.

Meanwhile thousands of students had gathered in front of the hospital to protest against the terrible behaviour of the police and they surrounded the police officers shouting protests against them. However the police officers refused to listen to them and kept on shouting abuse at the doctors. One of their terms of insult was to accuse the doctors of being "noble lovers of humanity", clearly showing their mentality and attitude towards ordinary working people!

The mass of students was by now becoming enraged as each moment passed and they started to throw stones at the police vehicles and it was becoming clear that the students could no longer be restrained and the life of the police officers was in danger. At that point the police withdrew from the Nishter Hospital. But at the same time a huge contingent of police gathered in front of the hospital and started to threaten all those present. The students wanted revenge for the atrocities the police had committed but the senior officials of the Nishter Medical College intervened to calm them down... an old tactic of the state tactic forces.

After this an FIR (First Information Report) was requested to be filed by the Medical Superintendent of Nishter Hospital (Multan) but the police refused to file the FIR against the ASP. Senior police officials intervened, but they simply delayed the problem and made sure that no FIR was filed against the police officers.

In the evening another attempt was made to file the FIR against the police but again the sate authorities refused to do so. A letter from the Medical Superintendent of Nishter Hospital was officially handed over to the police but they took no action on this... thus flying in the face of all the rules and principles.

In the evening hundreds of the students gathered in the college and vowed to carry out a strike against the humiliation they had faced. It was decided to shut down the hospital and to keep it closed unless a judicial inquiry against the ASP was initiated and he be given the punishment he deserved according to the law.

As yet, no action has been taken by the higher authorities. The doctors have also decided to observe the strike and to protest against the police atrocities. A meeting of the doctors and students decided to keep up morale and to protest against all the police brutality.

It has been reported that the higher authorities of the Medical College are trying to achieve some form of compromise on the matter. All the harassment and abuse perpetrated by the police has still gone "unnoticed" by the state judicial system. There is a feeling that the state is unable to provide any security against the abuse of the police forces. The students are even planning to get the people out on the roads and protest against this exploitative system which has been torturing all the people for so long.

No health care or serious police security has been provided to the people of this area who have been subjected to such brutal behaviour for centuries, whether it was under the Mogul Empire, British imperial rule or under the present so-called Islamic state. All the rulers and all the officers of the state have always exploited the working classes. The difference now is that the class conflict has been aggravated and the masses have started to see that this system has gone rotten, and that no decent human facilities are possible without a class war and revolution. YFIS-Pakistan is determined to strive for the rights of students and has vowed to fight for them and the PTUDC has also decided to commit itself to supporting this struggle of the doctors.