Three people were reportedly killed and 25 injured after lawyers attacked Lahore’s Punjab Institute of Cardiology on December 11. But what were lawyers even doing there? What is the bone of contention between the lawyers and doctors?
On November 23, a lawyer was seeking treatment at the PIC. A group of lawyers came to see him and he asked for a particular medicine. A dispenser at the hospital told them that they can get it from a different counter. This angered them as they didn’t want to queue up at another counter and started misbehaving with the dispenser. They also hit him.
In response, other dispensers got together and beat those lawyers, according to the Young Doctors’ Association.
A member of the Lahore Bar Association, however, said that three lawyers were at the PIC when they had a fight with the doctors there. The doctors then called security for help and thrashed the lawyers.
“We then staged different peaceful protests because we wanted the police to register an FIR against those doctors and include Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act,” Advocate Mohammad Saleem Chaudhry told SAMAA Digital.
The case was finally registered but the police did nothing to arrest the doctors named in the FIR, he claimed. The lawyers were protesting this but the doctors issued a statement apologizing for their conduct.
Asim Cheema, the president of the Lahore Bar Association, appreciated the gesture and said that lawyers will definitely respond to it. “The protest was called off but then videos of one doctor poking fun at lawyers went viral and the issue couldn’t be resolved,” he added.
In the video, the doctor, identified as Dr Irfan, was seen narrating one of his meetings with a group of lawyers. He claims that 11 doctors had come to confront two doctors: himself and Dr Ejaz. “A lawyer looked at me and said that he knows everything about me. I said that’s great because I want people to know me,” he says as the hospital staff laughs while listening to his speech.
They then went to the secretariat and IG office but didn’t get anything, he said. “They even told the IG to include Section 7 of the ATA just for face-saving.”
The doctors later apologized for his remarks and requested the lawyers to let bygones be bygones.
It was reported that the lawyers called the video “mocking” and gathered outside the Lahore hospital and closed off its entry and exit points on Wednesday in protest.
Another lawyer, however, said that the doctors had called the lawyers to the PIC to discuss their issues and resolve it. The lawyers were angered when they reached and there were no doctors there, he added.