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Police crack down on medical students in Quetta

The police on Wednesday cracked down on the protesting medical students of the Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences (BUMHS) who had gathered outside the Balochistan Assembly to ask the government for better conditions on the campus.

They have been protesting for the last 40 days inside the university campus against the administration against a recent rise in tuition fee and better hostel facilities. The have also accused the vice-chancellor of negligence and corruption.

Videos recorded outside the provincial assembly show scenes of chaos as police drag away a student while his female colleagues run after them to plead for him to be released.

“Don’t you have your own kids,” a pleading woman asks the raiding police party.

“Shame on you,” shout the other women as the police shove the young man into what seems to be a prison van.

It is not yet clear how many students were arrested. The Bureau Chief of Dawn News, Syed Ali Shah, posted a video of the scene on Twitter, yet did not disclose the number of the detained students.

Later in the night, a protester told Balochistan Times that the detained students had been released, at around 10 pm. “They arrested all the men protesters and manhandled the women. We are going to be sitting all night in front of the (provincial) assembly in protest.”

The Quetta police have had multiple controversial engagements with BUMHS students since last year for one reason or the other.

On October 8 last year, they stormed into the girls’ hostel, broke locks of student’s rooms and threw their belongings out.

The following day, an audio recording became viral on the social media in which Quetta’s Assistant Commissioner, Nida Kazmi, can be heard “threatening” one of the female students. “There are thousands of doctors in Quetta, but one assistant commissioner,” she can be heard bragging .

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