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Saturday Jul 04 2020
Web Desk

'We will emerge stronger': YDA warns of nation-wide protests against unresolved issues, police brutality

Web Desk
“Violence against young doctors will only strengthen us," says YDA Kashmir president. —  AFP/Files

MUZAFFARABAD: The Young Doctors Association Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday said that the association "will emerge stronger", a day after several medics were "subjected to violence" and arrested during a “peaceful protest”.

The YDA and Grand Health Alliance (GHA), in a joint press conference, condemned the government’s “non-democratic” behaviour.

"If the issues faced by doctors are not resolved, a country-wide movement will be launched," the GHA chairman said.

“Violence against young doctors will only strengthen us,” the president of YDA Kashmir said.

"We will stage a sit-in in front of Kashmir House in Islamabad [if our issues are ignored]," vowed Dr Salman of YDA Punjab.

President GHA Punjab Dr Fazle Rabbi said that the doctors were dying of coronavirus due to non-provision of facilities.

Another representative of the medical fraternity present, explaining the condition of health facilities in AJK, said: “50% of our patients are referred to Islamabad.”

Police disperse sit-in

Yesterday, authorities had dispersed a sit-in in Muzaffarabad that the organisation had staged for their rights, among which, one demand was to provide them with incentives equal to that of federal institutions.

“Police baton-charged peaceful protesters,” secretary-general YDA said, adding: “Ten doctors were injured and 23 arrested.”

The YDA representative said that as a reactionary measure, all the emergency services in the AJK had been shut.

On the other hand, police said they arrested 22 doctors and that "none of them were hurt" during the process.

'Arresting doctors shameful'

Meanwhile, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the police brutality and demanded that the arrested doctors be released immediately, during a meeting with representatives of the YDA via video link.

“Arresting doctors for demanding protective gear and rights is shameful,” he said, adding: “Doctors across the country should be given a risk allowance similar to that of Sindh."

Lamenting over the arrests, Bilawal said that instead of consultations with doctors over the prevalent coronavirus situation, the government was busy arresting them.

“Doctors are our frontline soldiers who are fighting to save our lives during this pandemic,” he said, adding: “Despite announcements, Imran Khan has not consulted with doctors.”