IDP protest: Magistrate orders Bugti tribesmen to vacate hospital premises

Says their presence is creating a security threat.

Our Correspondent July 05, 2013
“All we want is take the body to Dera Bugti for burial, and for that we want the government to make the area peaceful,” says Shahzain Bugti. PHOTO: INP/FILE


A city magistrate on Friday issued a notice ordering over 200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Dera Bugti who have gone on a hunger strike outside the outpatient department (OPD) entrance of Shifa International Hospital (SIH) to disperse immediately.

The notice says their presence on hospital premises is creating problems and a sense of insecurity among visitors, patients and staff.

Talking to The Express Tribune, an Islamabad Administration official who wished not to be named said that the government has allowed the protesters to take the body if they are willing to refrain from using it for political motives and will bury it.

“It seems that the protesters themselves are confused and uncertain about their demands,” said the official.

Talking to The Express Tribune, hospital sources said routine patient flow in the OPDs is being affected, while patients and their attendants are feeling insecure. Meanwhile, with the main entrance of the OPD blocked, staff are facing difficulty getting in to the hospital. The source further said that high-profile people such as diplomats and government officials come to the hospital every day and the situation makes them feel insecure.

On Thursday, the main emergency entrance was utilised to enter the OPD, but it did not help much. At the same time, visitors were seen nervously asking hospital security and other staff and media people about the protesters and the large number of law enforcement personnel there.

The IDPs started the protest on Wednesday after the Islamabad administration asked the hospital to refrain from handing over the body of an IDP who died early morning.

On Thursday, to build pressure on the government, the protesters went on a token hunger strike.

Jamhori Watan Party (JWP) President Shahzain Bugti told The Express Tribune that they will not leave until their demands are fulfilled.

“All we want is take the body to Dera Bugti for burial, and for that we want the government to make the area peaceful,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2013.


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