Medical students confront policemen in red zone of Quetta
Baton-wielding policemen pushing back male and female medical students in Quetta's Red Zone: Photo provided by the author

Manan Mandokhail, News Desk:

Medical students have confronted baton-wielding policemen in Quetta’s Red Zone, which houses Chief Minister Secretariat and Governor’s House on Thursday afternoon. Hundreds of male and female medical students marched towards the Red Zone to mount pressure on the government for acceptance of their demands.

“Our hunger strike till death entered the eighth day, but rulers are least bothered”, Sajid Baloch, a medical student said. Five media students have started hunger strikes till death in Quetta against the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).

Baton-wielding policemen deployed to maintain the order

Strict security measures were adopted by the administration to avert any untoward incident during the protest of students. Baton-wielding policemen were deployed on the road leading towards the Governor’s House and CM Secretariat.

“Government has already taken up this issue with the PMC”, senior minister Balochistan, Noor Muhammad Dumar told the protesting students. The PMC had asked 600 students of Jhalwan, Mekran, and Loralai medical colleges to appear in a special test. The students refused to do so and launched a protest movement against the Commission. PMC has recognized the medical colleges of Balochistan earlier. “Government will not allow PMC to play with the lives of students”, Mr. Dumar stated.

Protesters were carrying placards

The protesters had carried placards inscribed with slogans criticizing the government for its failure to protect the future of students. Policemen pushed back the protesting female students trying to enter the Red Zone.

Former Chief Minister Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani had also threatened to join the students’ protest if the government failed to address the grievances of students. “I will join the students’ protest”, Nawab Raisani assured the protesting students.

The PMC has also assured the students that it would review their case after ten days. However, the protesting students’ hunger strike till death entered the eighth day and their condition continues to deteriorate.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.