Quetta’s female doctors, house officers and medical students are protesting outside the Governor’s House, after police stormed their hostels three days ago to force them out.
Female doctors and medical students of the Bolan Medical College (BMC) have been protesting against what they call ‘arbitrary allotments’ at the girls’ hostel for last many months.
In the evening of October 8, the police entered the girls’ hostel, broke locks of some rooms and threw out their belongings to accommodate new allottees. The doctors and students are now protesting against the police and the college administration for “maltreatment and arbitrary allotments at the hostel” without interviewing the applicants.
The situation took a turn for the worse yesterday when an audio recording became viral on the social media in which a female Assistant commissioner of Quetta, Nida Kazmi, can be heard “threatening” one of the female medical students. She said there were thousands of doctors in Quetta, but only one assistant commissioner.
She is AC quetta nida kazmi who ordered male police officers to take out girls from bolan medical college hostel in the middle of night. She was recorded saying : there are thousands of doctors like you but only one commissioner like me in quetta, tum doctors ki auqat kia hai? pic.twitter.com/Xs5kRPUB7B
— A.U.Khalid (@AUKhalid14) October 9, 2019
The recorded audio became an instant hit among the Baloch social media users The female doctors and medical students later held a protest sit-in in front of the hostel.
This is not how you speak to students. This is not how to you speak to anyone. @SyedaNidaKazmi, you are a pubic servant; act like one and do your job. #SaySorryToBMCDoctors and work to solve their problem, not make it worse. https://t.co/J9eOPRVYzJ
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) October 8, 2019
#SaySorryToBMCDoctors trended on Twitter last night after hundreds of people from Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan criticized the assistant commissioner’s behaviour, asking her to apologize from the doctors.
On August 11, the college administration and the police sealed the hostels for new allotments. They set August 18 to interview the applicants.
“When we went there, they told us from now on two students from final year and the fourth year will have to accommodate in a single room, while for other students, three have to fit in one room,” a female BMC student told Balochistan Times on condition of anonymity.
”We didn’t accept this allotment. We demanded the first year and final year students should be given a room each. For others, we agreed two students will adjust in one room.”
The administration refused to accept the students’ demand and the interviews were postponed. The students set up a protest camp outside the college premises till the administration issued a notice on August 21, saying the hostel was open for students.
“The same day, we went to the hostel. There was no allotment list on the notice board. They had allotted hostels without interviewing the applicants. They called out names from a list,” says the BMC student.
Some of the previous occupants had not been able to remove their belongings when the hostels were sealed in August. Three days ago, the police used force to vacate their rooms.
Bolan Medical College and Hospital is situated in an elegantly built but controversial marble building in Balochistan´s capital Quetta. It was set up in the early 1970s by the first-ever elected Balochistan government. It remained the only medical college in the region for more than 45 years, losing its especial status in 2017, when the same building was declared into the Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences.
BUMHS Vice Chancellor, has been accused by students of lacking a PhD, a claim Balochistan Times couldn’t ascertain. He also stirred controversy when he recently took to the social media to call his students anti-state.
Due to mismanagement, lack of facilities, prolonged protests, and Balochistan’s chaotic political situation, it usually takes the college’s students longer to finish their studies. The college produced only 3,000 doctors till 2012.