A temporary COVID centre set up by Hemkunt Foundation, the non-governmental organisation (NGO) which delivered oxygen to many amid the second wave of COVID-19, was vandalised by unknown people on Thursday, 3 June.
As per sources working at the foundation, the destruction began around 6 am or 7 am, when the attackers stole the facility's generators and cut off its power supply, NDTV reported.
No patients were present at the facility situated in Gurugram's Sector 61 when the attack occurred. However, the foundation saw people arriving to refill their oxygen cylinders.
Hemkunt Foundation has helped many vulnerable people in need of oxygen during the devastating second wave of the pandemic, and said that it needs urgent access to 20,000 square metres of space around the city centre in order to continue offering its life-saving services.
The foundation's director, Harteerath Singh, told NDTV, "They were all local goons, you know, who came in their Fortuners and stuff...and with guns. One man was armed as well.”
“We all know who’s behind this. I don’t want to take names. I have been receiving threats earlier as well. I have been constantly getting death threats. And I am forced to sit outside my own facility,” he reportedly added.
Visuals of the destruction on Singh’s phone showed torn down roofs and billboards, damaged beds, among other equipment. He informed that all staff, including several women, were being shifted, and all volunteers had vacated the facility as soon as possible, NDTV reported.
He added, “We will continue to do seva (service) no matter what, but unfortunately people in power are behind this.”
Singh also said that he has filed a complaint with the police though he expressed his disillusionment with the ‘system’.
According to a report by PTI, a preliminary police investigation showed that the Hemkunt Foundation had set up the facility in Sector 61, based on a verbal agreement of 3.5 lakh from Rama Tent House.
On Thursday morning, workers from the tent company arrived and coerced the people to start vacating the place.
"As there have been no patients at the facility for the past few days, they (the lessees) had asked them (Foundation) to vacate the place. A dispute seems to have risen," a police official told PTI.
An FIR has been registered by the police and suitable action will be taken against people responsible for the destruction, Subhash Boken, Gurgaon Police PRO, said, according to The Indian Express.
(With inputs from PTI, The Indian Express and NDTV.)