The police used teargas, water cannons and batons against protesting paramedics on Wednesday. Over 30 protesters were also arrested.
According to joint action committee leader Akhlaq Ahmed Khan, the police have arrested more than 120 paramedics while more than two dozen were injured. Three, he claimed, suffered broken legs.
Thousands of paramedics from every town of Sindh gathered at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, demanding a health professional allowance and restoration of the 2006 service structure.
The police resorted to violence and dispersed the protesters when they tried to move towards Chief Minister House to present their demands. Hundreds of paramedics who wanted to protest outside CM House were injured when police baton charged the crowd and fired teargas shells.
The demonstration was organised by a joint action committee. Protesters were holding placards and banners inscribed with their demands. They also wore black bands on their arms and chanted slogans against Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho.
The leaders of joint action committee, Khan, Suleman Memon and Qayyum Marwat said that if the paramedics of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and the National Institute of Child Health can get health allowances, then why can’t the paramedics of other hospitals in the province.
Our protest was peaceful but the government has failed to meet our demands and instead tortured unarmed and peaceful protesters, said Memon. “No one from the health department tried to negotiate with us.” He said that they will not give up and want their demands met.
The protesters are threatening to close down all hospitals in province today (Thursday) and have vowed to renew their protest today.