SUKKUR, Jan 3: Head clerk of the Civil Hospital Mirpur Mathelo Muneer Ahmad Chidhar and eight others have been booked for theft of an ultrasound machine and attacking journalists.

According to sources he, along with others, was spotted by a group of people who were protesting against acute shortage of medicines and absence of doctors in the hospital.

During protest, Muneer Ahmed Chidhar and others put the ultrasound machine into his vehicle and tried to shift it to Bhittai Medical Centre which is reportedly owned by him.

People intercepted the vehicle and recovered the equipment.

All of a sudden, people with sticks in their hands, attacked those who intercepted Mr Chidhar’s car. A few journalists present on the occasion were also thrashed by the stick-wielding thugs.

Later, a large number of people, including members of the civil society, social organisations and media persons held a demonstration in front of Mirpur Mathelo police station and demanded an FIR against the head clerk for theft of government hospital equipment and attack on the media men.An FIR was lodged on the complaint of Barkat Mirani against nine people, including Muneer Ahmed , Khan Mohammad , Bashir Ahmed, Ayoob, Iqbal, Zahid (all by caste Chidhar), Ali Hassan Korai, Haji Leghari, and Nazeer Ahmed Bhutto.

Police could only arrest Haji Leghari who was lodged in the lockup of Mirpur Mathelo police station.

Earlier, a shutter down strike was observed in the town in protest against absenstee doctors and shortage of medicines in the local in the Civil Hospital.

The call was given by the Pakistan People’s Party (S-B) during which all major trade centres, including Shahi Bazaar, Sarafa Bazaar, Doctor Market, Old Market and G. T.Road remained closed till mid-day.

On the occasion, a demonstration was held at the Bhittai Chowk under the leadership of local PPP (SB) leaders Jalal Bozdar, Zaheer Malano and Nisar Bozdar.

Addressing the participants, they said poor people cannot afford private treatment and prefer the Civil Hospital where doctors are not available. The patients, they added, are advised to visit private clinics most of which are managed by the same doctors.

They demanded of the provincial secretary health to help to take notice of the difficulties being faced by the patients and bind the doctors to attend their duties. They also appealed to the provincial health minister to ensure availability of medicines at the hospital.

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