Injured demonstrators were brought to the emergency unit of the Lady Reading Hospital throughout the day. Most of the victims were teenagers with bullet wounds, in addition to two children under 10 years of age.
A heavy police contingent was deployed at the hospital due to threats of possible terrorist attacks.
Around 2pm, journalists were seen rushing to collect blood for Muhammad Amir, a driver of ARY News, who was injured during the protest. Amir, however, succumbed to his wounds and his body was shifted to the hospital’s morgue.
His relatives rushed to the hospital and criticised the government and the police, who they alleged had intentionally shot Amir. They demanded action against police officers involved in the shooting.
“There is no need to conduct a postmortem and nobody should conduct an inquiry over the murder because all these things are useless,” said an enraged relative.
Police also fired tear gas at protesters who were attempting to break into the hospital after burning a nearby cinema. The hospital staff and attendants exited the emergency unit when mobs approached the hospital gate. A stampede occurred when everyone tried to exit through the gate located near Khyber Bazaar.
Jawad, a 10-year-old second grade student, was brought in after a gate fell on him, injuring his head. “I do not know why so many people have gathered, but my friend told me I should go with him because there is a big procession we have to participate in,” Jawad said.
Aslam, another injured protester, said the crowd was walking peacefully near FC Chowk when a bullet hit his leg. Aslam did not know who brought him to the hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2012.
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