PESHAWAR, July 5: The doctors at Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) here on Friday allegedly thrashed local journalists and locked them in a room for exposing their negligence in treatment of an injured policeman.

The journalists said that they went to the hospital to cover a news story about attack on a police constable. “We saw the injured police constable lying in precarious conditions on a bed unattended as no doctor was providing him medical treatment,” they added.

Samin Jan, a reporter of a private TV channel, who was among the manhandled mediapersons, told his colleagues that the doctors present at the hospital were negotiating with representatives of pharmaceutical companies.

“The doctors got infuriated when we told them to help the dying policeman. They started beating the mediapersons present on the occasion,” he added.

Mr Jan alleged that the wounded constable died due to negligence of the doctors.

The local journalists held a demonstration and block roads to protest manhandling of their colleagues by the doctors. They blocked Sher Shah Suri Road outside Peshawar Press Club and University Road in front of KTH for several hours.

The protesting journalists were demanding of the hospital administration and government to release their colleagues, made hostages by the doctors.

According to a press release issued by Peshawar Press Club general secretary Yousaf Ali, the injured police constable died due to negligence of the doctors.

“Some reporters of private television channels were beaten and their cameras were broken for no reason,” said the press release.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Ali said that the doctors thrashed the journalists and then locked them in a room for six hours.

The office-bearers of Khyber Union of Journalists and Peshawar Press Club reached the hospital to hold talks with the doctors and release their colleagues, but they were also attacked by medics and other staff of the hospital. Several journalists were injured in the attack.

However, officials of Town police station didn’t register any FIR in that regard till filing of this report.

Meanwhile, PPC president Nasir Hussain called an emergency meeting that was attended by office-bearers of the club and senior journalists. The meeting condemned manhandling of journalists by doctors.

The meeting decided that the protest would be continued on daily basis while a sit-in would be staged in front of Chief Minister’s House after three days.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak took notice of the incident and ordered immediate inquiry into the matter.

According to a handout, the chief minister said that an impartial inquiry would be conducted into the matter. “Action will be taken against the wrongdoers in the light of the inquiry,” it said.

Meanwhile, Provincial Minister for Health Shaukat Yousafzai has constituted a committee of senior doctors to conduct inquiry into the matter and submit report within 48 hours.

Dr Ataur Rehman is head of the committee while deputy medical superintendent of KTH Shahid Afridi and RMO Dr Saeed Mujtaba are its members.

However, no journalist has been included in the inquiry committee.

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