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Hundreds suffer as JPMC clinics forcibly closed

KARACHI, Aug 17: Hundreds of patients were forced to return home without getting medical treatment from the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre here on Thursday as different outpatient clinics (OPDs) could not be held following Wednesday's killing of a student at the Sindh Medical College in a clash between two student groups.

Members of a student group ensured that things could not function as normal on Thursday by using different pressure tactics to register their protest against the killing.

OPDs of the departments of medicine, surgery, gynaecology, orthopaedics, chest, urology, psychiatry and others could not be held while the functioning of the emergency ward was also affected for a brief period in the morning, but functioned normally later on in the day.

Offices of the Punjabi Students' Association (PSA) 'Punjab House,' located in Bazzatta Lane, was also set on fire on Thursday.

"The premises were in possession of the members of the PSA, which were set on fire gutting furniture and different fixtures. No casualty was reported in the incident," SPO Saddar DSP Kamran Rasheed said.

Similarly, two rooms of the Shah Latif Hostel, said to be in the possession of PSA students, were also set alight gutting furniture and different fixtures.

Tension spread to different colleges and universities across the city where extra security was deployed by the police and Rangers to avert any possible spill over.

Police have registered two cases in connection with Wednesday's incidents at the JPMC, one pertaining to creating a law and order situation in which five students of the PSA were arrested from the spot.

The second FIR was registered in connection with the murder of Hafiz Abdul Rehman, a final year student and member of the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba.

Rangers take over security

A unit of the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) on Thursday took control of security at two major medical colleges of the city to avoid any "repercussions" in the aftermath of Wednesday's violence, officials said.

According to a Rangers' spokesman, a unit comprising "a few" hundred paramilitary personnel reached the premises of the Sindh Medical College and the Dow Medical College and assumed security duties at the campuses.

The Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), to which these colleges are affiliated, had already suspended teaching activities there and the newly established Ishratul Ibad Dental College for three days to ensure there was no bloody sequel to Wednesday's incident.The officials of the two colleges said they had issued notices to over 200 students residing in the boys' hostels to vacate them by Friday.

"We have issued notices to the residents of the boys' hostels and would get the spaces vacated by Friday (today)," Dr Tariq Sharafatullah, Principal of the SMC said.

Around 120 students are housed in the SMC's boys' hostels. Prof Salahuddin Afsar, Principal of the DMC, said the college administration had issued similar notices to some 100 residents of its boys' hostel.

The two top officials said no untoward incident was reported in their premises due to beefed-up security and suspension of teaching activities.

They gave no deadline when the students would be allowed to re-occupy their rooms in the hostels.

"We'll decide as soon as the situation normalises," Prof Afsar said.

Prof Masood Hameed Khan, Vice-Chancellor of DUHS, had earlier said rooms at the SMC's hostels would be re-allotted after strict scrutiny of the students.

The DMC management had already re-allotted hostel rooms lately. Dawn
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