More than 250 lawyers stormed the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) in Lahore on December 11, 2019
Concept & Photos by Rahat Dar
More than 250 lawyers stormed the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) in Lahore on December 11, 2019, ransacking wards and operation theatres and beating up the staff and visitors. There was aerial firing, windows were smashed and machinery damaged. Patients in critical conditions were left unattended as staff and visitors scrambled for safety, and some did not survive. Information Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan reached the spot to defuse tensions but was manhandled and had to flee. Police vehicles were set on fire and traffic on Jail Road remained blocked for hours. Eventually, Rangers were called in to disperse the mob and tear gas was also used.
This inane attack was allegedly triggered by a video of a doctor where he was taunting lawyers after thrashing one at the hospital. After widespread condemnation, police have now registered cases against more than 250 lawyers, charging them with terrorism and murder. It is important to note that patients from all over Pakistan come to get treated at the institute. An attack on a hospital – which is a crime under the Geneva Convention – can find no justification. The mob, despite being well-versed in law, seemed to forget that in times of injury or ill health, they will have to turn to medical facilities as well.