GUJRANWALA/HAFIZABAD/OKARA/ TOBA TEK SINGH/BAHAWALNAGAR/ Nowshera Virkan-Medical stores and pharmacies partly remained shut in various cities of the Punjab province against the recent amendment to the Punjab Drug Act 2017 on Monday.

As a result, the citizens faced with difficulties to get medicines. The medical store owners said that the government was making obstacles to run their business through amendment to the Punjab Drug Act. "We cannot afford the amendment. We demand the government withdraw the amendment otherwise we will not only shut our stores but also block the roads as a protest," they added.

Meanwhile, the citizens were seen running from one shop to another to get the medicines for their ill loved ones. chemists, druggists and owners of medical stores in Hafizabad took out a rally and staged a sit-in demonstration in Vanike Chowk where their leaders said that they would continue the rallies and strike if the amendment was not withdrawn.

They raised slogans against the government and declared that the amendment was tantamount to their economic murder.

The Okara-based druggists did not join the Punjab-level strike call as all the pharmacies at Tehsil Road remained open. However, the medical stores around private hospitals remained close and the patients had to face difficulties in buying medicines. Till noon about 60% medical stores opened. The Chemist Association had declared that next strategy would be adopted in the light of the announcement of its provincial leadership.

In Toba Tek Singh, all the medical stores of all towns of the district remained shut as protest over the alleged failure of the Punjab government in fulfilling its promise to withdraw the amendments in the Drug Act 2017.

Addressing the protest meeting, District Chemists and Druggists Association President Mian Imran Manzoor said four ministers of provincial government had signed an agreement with the association after the talks with the chemists and druggists in May last year. However, the promise could not be fulfilled, he added.

Likewise, the chemists in Bahawalnagar observed complete shutdown. The strike was observed in Chishtian, Haroonabad, Faqirwali and Bahawalnagar. The protestants warned to observe strike for indefinite period in the next phase if their demands were not met.

In Nowshera Virkan, the Chemists and Druggists Association observed strike against the new policies being introduced by the Punjab government. The association meeting was attended by Iqbal Siddiq Sidhu with Basharat Ali, Ghiasuddin, Dr IJaz Ahmad, Rao Arshed, Dr Saifullah and others.

The association president said that the motive behind the legislation was personal gains which would not only destroy the pharma industry but also deliver severe losses to the country. They demanded the government to withdraw new amendment to the act.

Shutdown as trader killed in dacoity

KHANEWAL-The traders staged a protest against the dacoity incident which claimed a trader's life on resistence, and chanted anti-police slogans.

They said that the police had miserably failed to protect the traders' life and properties as dacoity and theft incidents were rising. On the call of trade chamber, the traders of Quli Bazaar Khanewal staged a protest in the Chowk of Quli Bazaar near old sabzi Mandi Road.

The protesters blocked the roads at Chowk by burning tyres.

They demanded early arrest of the outlaws involved in the killing of local trader namely Sheikh Mansha and snatching of Rs90,000 from him.

After a meeting, the traders holding placards and banners marched on the roads and took out a protest rally which concluded at Sanglanwala Chowk.

Addressing the protesters, Trade Chamber President Innamullah and others strongly condemned the performance of district police. They alleged that police had failed to protect the people from outlaws. They said that increasing rate of crimes in the area was a question mark on the output of district police.

They demanded Punjab Chef Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the IGP of Punjab and RPO Multan M Idrees take a note of the law and order situation in the district and early arrest of culprits involved in the murder of trader.

When a call was made to DPO Rizwan Gonal to take his version regarding the traders' protest rally and their allegations, the DPO did respond to the call.