Students and activists held a demonstration in Sindh Univeristy in Jamshoro to express solidarity with the Baloch students who have been protesting for the past few days in Quetta against the “unjust policies” of the Pakistan Medical Commission. The protesting Baloch students were beaten up and arrested en masse on two occasions by the police, leading to a widespread national outcry.
Baloch students have been protesting in Quetta, Balochistan, against the Pakistan Medical Commission for the past several days. The students allege that the medical college entry test was flawed: many of the questions were out of the assigned syllabus and students who had not appeared in the test were declared fail. They also demanded that the admission merit for the medical college should be reduced.
On two separate occasions, the Quetta police cracked down on protestors violently. The students were baton-charged, tear-gassed and arrested en masse by the police. Many were beaten up so badly that they ended up in hospitals with long-lasting health problems, like concussions and multiple fractures.
In one such protest, activist and student leader Hani Baloch allegedly sustained injuries and respiratory illnesses due to tear gas exposure after the police violently cracked down on the protest she was attending. A few hours after her death, activists from different student and political circles claimed that she had died due to the injuries she had suffered at the hands of Quetta police at the protest. The police denied these charges and said that she had died of natural causes. Hani’s colleagues from the BSO also corroborated the claim, saying that she already had underlying health issues that eventually resulted in her death.
The news of the Quetta police’s violent crackdown on Baloch students spread like wildfire. A campaign grew on social media, calling for the authorities to take notice of the issue and bring the culprits to justice. Student organizations and activists called for a protest against “police brutality” and “unjust policies” of the Pakistan Medical Commission.
At the University of Sindh in Jamshoro, students held a demonstration to express solidarity with the protesting Baloch students. The protestors condemned the police crackdown on Baloch students and demanded the relevant authorities to investigate the Hani Baloch’s death. They said that the Baloch students have the right to protest for their rights, and we will support them at every level.