Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blame game: Lawyers, doctors fight over report

Advocate Ahmad Raza Qasoori. PHOTO: AFP
Eight people were injured on Friday in a brawl between some lawyers and doctors at the Samundri tehsil headquarters hospital after some lawyers said a false medical examination report had been issued. 
The doctors denied the allegation saying that it was the lawyers who wanted them to issue a false report.
The argument turned ugly and police had to be called to stop the lawyers and the doctors. No one was arrested in the end.
Police said Advocate Ahmad Raza Qasoori had visited the hospital seeking treating for some injuries on the hand. He had also sought a medical examination report.
He told the doctors that he had had a fight with some rivals, who had attacked him and left him injured. He said he needed a medical examination report to file a case against them.
The altercation started after Dr Saeed Wahla and Dr Ahmad Qazi issued a report saying that the injuries could be self-inflicted.
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Witnesses told police that the lawyer started shouting at the doctors, accusing them of issuing a false report. He demanded that he be issued another medical certificate. The doctors refused to re-issue a medical examination certificate. Some witnesses said some others doctors came over and told off the lawyer. They said some of the paramedics pushed the lawyer out of the doctor’s office.
The lawyer, they said, called some of his colleagues and friends, who attacked the doctors and whoever tried to stop them. They punched and kicked several doctors.
The lawyers also damaged windowpanes and equipment at the emergency ward. Eight people, including Dr Wahla, paramedics Naveed Arshad and Muhammad Rafiq, and lawyers Malik Shakeel, Irshad Ahmad Shaad and Chaudhry Majid- were injured.
Assistant Commissioner Saba Adil visited the hospital along with a heavy police contingent. The situation was brought under control after Adil talked to both sides.
Later, doctors and paramedics in the outdoor patients department and the emergency ward stopped working for the day and protested against the police for not arresting the lawyers.
Hospital’s account
Talking to The Express Tribune, Medical Superintendent Muneer Ahmad Naz blamed the lawyers for starting the scuffle.
He said the medical examination certificate was based on facts, but the lawyer wanted the doctors to change it to be used against his rivals. He said Dr Wahla had filed a complaint with the police.
Afzaal Ahmad Cheema, president of the Rural Doctors’ Association, accused the Samundri station house officer of supporting the lawyers.
Lawyers’ rebuttal
Rana Naveed Irshad, the former Samundri Tehsil Bar Association president, denied that the lawyers had started the scuffle. He blamed Dr Qazi for the incident. He said Dr Qazi refused to issue a correct certificate, humiliated Qasoori and later told some paramedics to push him out. He said Qasoori was actually hurt during a fight with some rivals. He said the tehsil bar association would observe a three-day strike to register their protest. He demanded that the doctors responsible for the incident be arrested. He said Qasoori, too, had moved a complaint against the doctors.
Report sought
Police told The Express Tribune that District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal had formed a four-member inquiry committee. The committee comprising the district officer (coordination), the District Bar Association president, the Health executive district officer and the Saddar superintendent of police would submit its report in 24 hours.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2014

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