A doctor was beaten up for allegedly thrashing a woman at Benazir Shaheed Hospital on Wednesday.
Sanam Bibi* told newsmen that she took her niece Sonia* to the outpatient department (OPD) of the hospital, where the medical officer, Dr Bilal*, advised her to get admission in the female medical ward. She said as she took her niece into the ward, the doctor yelled at her and told her to leave. “After facing bitter humiliation, I tore the medical prescription and threw it away. As I was leaving, the doctor kicked and punched me and tore my shirt,” she alleged.
When her family members came to know, they went and thrashed the doctor and ransacked the OPD. Meanwhile, some of the medical staff called the police, who arrested nine of the attackers. The men were booked under sections 337/A, 353, 147, 148, 14 and 186 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The arrested are Yasir, Asim Hazarvi, Sajjad Hazarvi, Shaukat, Saqib, Safdar, Shoab, Zeshan and Mehtab.
Later, a group of activists of Hazara Qaumi Mahaz (HQM) staged a protest rally from Link Road to the main bazaar, chanting slogans against the hospital administration and the accused doctor. They maintained that the doctor who tore apart a woman’s clothes and thrashed her should be put behind bars. The speakers warned that if a criminal case was not registered against the doctor and if he wasn’t jailed, they would block Shahrah-e-Resham Road in protest. HQM Chairman Qazi Azhar also spoke to the protesters.
Meanwhile, Executive District Officer Health Abbottabad Dr Zafeer Ahmed defended Dr Bilal, saying that he was innocent, and blamed the woman and her supporters for attacking and injuring the doctor.
He said that Dr Bilal had neither manhandled her nor torn her clothes. He said that although everything was clear, he would still conduct an inquiry into the incident.
When approached, Dr Bilal rejected the claim made by Sanam, saying that he was too busy with patients when she walked in, pushing for an out-of-turn medical check-up of her niece. While calling her demand “unreasonable”, he said that he had patiently asked her to wait for her turn, upon which she got infuriated, tore the prescription and called him names. After some time, he said, over a dozen of her supporters attacked him in the OPD, leaving him injured.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.
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