HAFIZABAD-Hundreds of deserving poor protested against the apathy of the District Baitul Maal Committee for not granting financial assistance to them during the Ramazan despite having sufficient funds.

According to the recipients, the committee has virtually become non-functional for the past six months due to political differences between the chairman and members of the committee. According to insiders, State Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar and MPA Malik Fiaz Ahmad Awan of PML-N groups had developed political differences as a result of which the poor have been deprived of financial assistance. They further said that there was no paucity and dearth of funds as more than Rs7 million was lying frozen in the account of the District Baitul Maal.

The affected persons and citizens have made fervent appeal to the chief minister to take serious notice of the sad state of affairs in the District Baitul Maal Committee Hafizabad and ensure early disbursement of financial assistance to the deserving poor.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Medical Association has strongly condemned the "misbehavior" of influential landlord Rana Saqib of Mangat Neecha towards Dr Saleem Ahsan, the incharge emergency at DHQ Hospital Hafizabad.

The PMA demanded his immediate arrest. According to PMA, the Rana Saqib visited the emergency and starting abusing the doctor over a trifle. He also grappled with the doctor and insulted him. The accused also left the emergency by hurling threat of dire consequences. PMA President Dr Abid Hussain Bhatti said that if prompt action was not taken against the accused, the doctors of the district would be constrained to resort to protest demonstration.

SCHOOL VIOLATE ORDERS Most of the private schools and colleges in the district are flouting the order of the education department to close down the educational institution for summer vacation from May 17 and not to increase/realise the fee for the period of summer vacations with impunity.

According to a survey conducted by this scribe, most of the private schools and colleges have refused to close down their institutions during the hot season. They also increased fee and are forcing the students to deposit the fee for three months in advance.

Gift College has refused to provide roll number slips to those students who were appearing in first year until they deposit the fee for second year class. The students said that they were still appearing in the first year examination and they could not be forced to pay the fee for the second year. The affected students also protested in front of the college on Gujranwala Road and raised slogans against Principal Rizwan Ahmad for his arbitrary action. However, the protestors dispersed on the assurance of Assistant Director Colleges that their roll number slips would be issued shortly.