Angry mob of lawyers storm emergency ward of Lahore hospital, one dead
A group of lawyers on Wednesday stormed the emergency ward of Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore, vandalising public property, setting a police vehicle on fire and attacking provincial minister Fayyaz ul Hasan Chohan.
Following the attack, a woman died due to lack of medical attention, while several patients were forced out of the building to sit on footpaths.
As per the deceased woman’s son, his mother complained of pain, after which he tried to get hold of a doctor but the doctors went on a strike due to the attack.
Videos of the incident shared on Twitter showed police officials, clad in riot gear, were rendered helpless as a swarm of lawyers, outnumbering the law enforcement personnel, broke the entrance of the hospital.
There were reports of casualties at the emergency ward of the hospital as a result of the confusion and fear that spread inside the facility as the lawyers barged into the building. It was not clear why the group of lawyers stormed the cardiology hospital.
Initial reports suggested that lawyers broke the windows of the emergency ward and damaged cars parked at the hospital. There were reports of multiple injuries to people.
Punjab Minister for Information Chohan who arrived at the hospital was manhandled by the lawyers who tore at his clothes and hair. The provincial minister could be seen escorted away from the hospital.
“They tried to kidnap me,” Chohan said in a statement. “I came to deal with the situation and they started abusing me.” He added a first information report (FIR) will be registered against those responsible.
Chohan said that the government will register FIRs against all responsible for the violence and hand them exemplary punishments.
He said that after arriving at the hospital and had 10 lawyers arrested. The minister said that he had the lawyers arrested for their protection against police shelling.
“When I ran from the lawyers because they tried to kidnap me, I heard shots being fired,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan summoned an emergency meeting in wake of the Lahore attack today, sources informed.
According to sources, the prime minister contacted Chief Secretary Punjab and Inspector General of Police Punjab, summoning a report on the incident within an hour.
“We will not let anyone take law into their hands,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by sources.
PM Imran gave directions for finding out those behind the incident and take adequate action against them.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has ordered the formation of an investigative committee into the institute at the hospital under provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat.
Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, IG police and additional chief secretary interior are also part of the committee.
The committee will investigate the incident and submit the report to the chief minister.
The Punjab chief minister said no one was above the law and that action will be taken against those responsible for the incident today.
Buzdar added that it was a criminal activity to stop the patients from receiving treatment.