Baton charge

In a shameful incident police launched baton charge against the doctors and nurses protesting against government in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Paramedical staffs were protesting against the policies of government regarding daily allowances. Paramedical staff started their protest in morning and started moving towards Prime Minister House where Islamabad police started resistance. During clash between protesters and police, many nurses and doctors got injuries. The police also arrested injured staffers including female nurses and doctors. According to the hospital officials, about 25 doctors, nurses, paramedics and other staffers sustained injuries during the scuffle with police. As a result of the protest, OPDs in major hospitals of the federal capital are closed causing difficulties for patients.

Hundreds of medical and non-medical staffers of five government hospitals, including Polyclinic Hospital, Capital Development Authority Hospital, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM) and National Institute of Health gathered to protest against the freezing of annual increment on health risk allowance. The protesters moved towards the PM Secretariat as decided before but at NADRA Chowk heavy police force including women police stopped the protesters. When the protesters tried to cross the barricades to go to the PM Secretariat, a scuffle broke out; the police used batons on the protesters. Some of the nurses were of the view that during sit in of PTI and PAT, they looked after injured policemen and police paying back by using batons.

Previous government of PPP approved health risk allowance for the paramedical staff but incumbent government has frozen the increment on the allowance in the current fiscal year. After failed negotiations with officials of finance division to restore the increment, employees announced protests in order to raise their demands. In every democratic country every citizen secures the right of protest. Some high-ups of the government should have stepped up to listen the grievances of the protesters. But they let police use baton charge which made mockery of democracy.

Protest is basic right of citizens in a democratic society; baton charge on protesters must be condemned.


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