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Lahori anger hit the roads in 2009

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* Psychiatrists say intolerance, frustration and post-traumatic tensions cause street fights

By Muhammad Aayan

LAHORE: Walking on the streets, driving around or even hanging out with friends, hot-headed Lahoris got embroiled in more than 1200 street fights across the city during the year 2009, while 400 people were injured as a result of these brawls, sources told Daily Times.

Most of the fights started with minor quarrels turning into huge clashes and there were various reasons for these fights. Some of the reasons recorded by the police were minor frauds, small road accidents, eve teasing and even urinating besides someone’s wall. Police registered more than 600 cases of street fights in the city whereas other cases were settled outside police stations.

Wooden sticks, agricultural tools, martial arts and boxing are the most commonly used techniques during street fights, while people also use iron rods, brass knuckles, bricks, knives, glass bottles and even firearms to get even with their rivals.

“I have never used my strength to dominate anyone weaker than me or tried to show off my skills. If a person is capable of beating up five people at the same time, it does not mean he should start picking fights,” said Furqan, a Karate expert.

Punjab Institute of Mental Health Executive Director Dr Nusrat Habib told Daily Times that socio economic problems contribute to mental uneasiness in people, which leads to them to get into fights.

“When a person of the privileged class is involved in a street fight, he keeps in mind his family’s status. He would abuse someone who is weaker than him and would back away from the person stronger than him. Influential and rich people have passed on this trend to their children and they are prone to picking up fights,” said Dr Nusrat.

“Lack of tolerance, frustration and post-traumatic tensions related to the ongoing wave of terrorism across the country could be considered the catalysts behind such incidents,” she said.

The emergency wards of the Services, Ganga Ram, Jinnah, Mayo and General Hospital receive more than 80 cases of fight related injuries every day. The doctors on duty said they treat a large number of people injured because of street fights along with those who are victims of street crimes and road accidents.\01\04\story_4-1-2010_pg13_9

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