Three Heart Patients Die After 200 Lawyers Storm Pakistani Hospital

Published December 12th, 2019 - 10:27 GMT
Policemen chase lawyers following a clash between lawyers and doctors in Lahore today (AFP/ File Photo)
Policemen chase lawyers following a clash between lawyers and doctors in Lahore today (AFP/ File Photo)
More than 200 fully-suited lawyers stormed a cardiac hospital in Lahore today.

At least three heart patients died on Wednesday after 200 lawyers stormed a Pakistani cardiac hospital and attacked doctors because they had ridiculed them.

'Three patients including an elderly woman died after doctors failed to provide them timely treatment and remained engaged in averting the assault,' Punjab provincial health minister Yasmeen Rashid said at a televised press conference in Lahore.

A group of more than 200 lawyers, who had ongoing issues with the doctors of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, stormed the hospital, vandalising property and damaging dozens of vehicles of visitors and setting ablaze a police van, Rashid said.

According to police, the lawyers started punching and kicking some doctors at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology and beating them with sticks. 

Officers said the mob damaged hospital equipment and prompted the families of some patients to move them to other hospitals.

Authorities said tension had been brewing between the city's lawyers and medics since last month, when one Lahore lawyer complained that doctors mistreated him when he took an ailing relative to the hospital. It was unclear what the alleged mistreatment involved.

The incident today was allegedly triggered by video clips some doctors had made ridiculing the lawyers. 

Punjab information minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan who arrived at the hospital to mediate was also thrashed by angry lawyers.

'This was kind of a high-handedness which none of civilised societies can tolerate,' provincial law minister Raja Basharat said.

Private television channels showed live footage of the scuffles from the scene where some of the lawyers were also seen brandishing pistols.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who ordered an inquiry into the incident, directed Punjab provincial government to take stern action against all those involved in the attack.

'Several lawyers have been identified from the television footage and the government will deal with all those involved in the attack with an iron hand,' Basharat said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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