ISLAMABAD: The government of Punjab province has deployed the Rangers, paramilitary law enforcement personnel, as the situation remains tense in Lahore following a clash between lawyers and doctors at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) on Wednesday.
The PIC was closed on Thursday and patients have been moved to other hospitals in Lahore.
At least three heart patients have died after a group of lawyers attacked doctors at the hospital.
“Three patients including an elderly woman died after doctors failed to provide them timely treatment and remained engaged in averting the assault,” Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid said in a televised press conference in Lahore on Wednesday, as quoted by AFP.
A group of more than 200 lawyers, who had ongoing issues with the doctors of the PIC, stormed the hospital, vandalizing property and damaging dozens of vehicles of visitors and setting ablaze a police van, she said
Reportedly, police have registered cases against dozens of lawyers allegedly involved in the attack on PIC.
On Wednesday evening, Rashid said in a tweet that strict action would be taken against the lawyers who tortured doctors and obstructed treatment at PIC.
“No where in the world is there any precedence of attacks on medical facilities even in wars. This government will not spare them. The footage clearly shows all those involved. The crime is heinous, 34 involved in violence have already been arrested,” the minister wrote.
The incident was apparently triggered by video clips some doctors had made ridiculing the lawyers.
Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan, who arrived at the hospital to mediate, was also thrashed by angry lawyers.
Private television channels showed live footage of the scuffles from the scene where some of the lawyers were also seen brandishing pistols.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who ordered an inquiry into the incident, directed the provincial government to take stern action against all those involved in the attack.