Lost My Hand to Bomb Thrown From Nursing Home: Delhi Riot Survivor
Akram’s right hand had to be amputated and he is awaiting another surgery, but an FIR is yet to be filed.
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It has been four months since Mohammad Akram Khan lost his right hand after a bomb was thrown at him during the northeast Delhi riots in the last week of February, but despite a complaint, his lawyer told The Quint that the police is yet to register an FIR.
A migrant from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, 22-year-old Akram had been working for the last five years at a denim factory – cutting jeans for a living. The amputation has made it nearly impossible for him to support his family.
Adding to the uncertainty over Akram’s future is his long wait for medical treatment and justice. While his right hand was amputated, a broken bone on his left shoulder is yet to be operated upon though it’s been four months since he sustained the injury.
According to a report in Huffington Post, his treatment at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital in northeast Delhi had to be cut short after it was converted into a COVID-19 facility. Ever since, he has been waiting for the doctors at St Stephen's Hospital to revert with the date of operation.
Unable to Write, Akram Had Narrated Statement to Uncle
While he is unable to write or sign due to his amputation, Akram narrated his ordeal to his uncle Jalaluddin, who penned it down and got it typed out, following which Akram added his thumb impression to it.
The complaint was filed at Dayalpur Police Station on 15 March. However, three months on, the police is yet to approach Akram for an inquiry to file an FIR, his lawyer said.
The Quint has accessed Akram's complaint which documents how he was injured after a bomb was thrown at him from the roof of Mohan Nursing Home and Hospital. He also claimed that this prominent hospital from Yamuna Vihar was used by rioters, its owners and employees to attack Muslims.
Other Key Pieces of Evidence
These include the video of an injured Akram being taken for treatment, a signed complaint by a resident of the area who claims to have witnessed the incident, and a video of rioters attacking people from the roof of Mohan Nursing Home.
We have also reached out to the owner of Mohan Nursing Home as well as the Dayalpur SHO (station house officer) for their response to the allegations made against them.
The Context: What Happened on 24 February
Akram narrates that he was attacked while returning from an Ijtima (religious congregation) on the afternoon on 24 February, the first day of the violence.
“On Monday 24/02/2020 at around 2 PM I was returning home from Ijtima at Qasabpura. When I reached the Bhajanpura Mazaar road, a crowd had gathered on the road which included Gaurav and Saurav who live in Gali Number 22 Shiv Vihar and who I know from before. They had guns in their hands and were wearing saffron clothes.”
Akram claims that when he was attacked near Mohan Nursing Home, rioters were chanting slogans in support of BJP leaders. The slogans were about former MLA Jagdish Pradhan and Kapil Mishra as well as BJP municipal councillor Kanhaiya Lal.
“Some people had gathered on the roof of Mohan Nursing Home . They were carrying sticks, bombs, stones and guns and they were chanting slogans like ‘Jagdish Pradhan Zindabad’, ‘Kapil Mishra Zindabad’, ‘Kanhaiya Lal Zindabad’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’.Complaint filed by Mohammad Akram Khan
According to Akram, “Senior police officers were also present and they were telling the rioters ‘Daro mat police tumhare saath hai, maaro in ka**o ko (Do not worry, the police is standing by you. Kill these Muslims)'.”
The Attack: When The Bomb Fell Near Akram’s Hands
“At that point, one of them asked my name and I replied ‘Akram’. The rioters ran after me and I fell down. Then from the top of Mohan Nursing Home, the owner (of the nursing home) and his employees began throwing stones and bombs at me,” Akram alleges.
“At that moment I saw a bomb being thrown from the roof of Mohan Nursing Home. Before I could stand up, it fell near my hand and both my hands were caught in the explosion.”Police complaint by Mohammad Akram Khan
"Some boys saved my life and took me to Meher Hospital. Using my phone, they called my elder brother in the village. My elder brother called my chacha (uncle) Jalaluddin and informed him. Uncle called on my phone and a boy received it, and told him that I was in Meher hospital. My uncle reached Meher hospital and when he saw that my condition was serious, he took me to GTB hospital and the doctors admitted me there,” Akram narrates.
A day after the attack, his right hand was amputated.
The Aftermath: The Fear of Losing His Other Hand as Well
According to Akram, their initial attempts to request the police to register a case weren't successful.
"My uncle requested the police personnel present at GTB Hospital to register a case regarding what happened to me but the police threatened him, saying that ‘if you report about this incident, both you and your nephew will be put in jail and we won't even allow you to get bail’".
At this point Akram’s condition worsened, as his remaining hand also went septic.
"My condition was worsening, and even the other hand was going septic. Doctors told me anything could happen. That's why I got my statement written after narrating it to my uncle. My uncle brought this after getting it typed, and I have read it and put my thumb impression, because I cannot sign,” he wrote.
After writing the statement Akram says he feared a backlash.
"After this statement I was scared that the police would trouble my family and have them jailed. All I wanted to say is that this is my testimony, don't trouble them. Please take strict action against the guilty and protect the life and property of my uncle and his family.”
Now let’s come to the statement of the eyewitness, which confirms details from Akram’s complaint. Filed on 16 March at Dayalpur Police Station, a copy of it was received at the Commissioner of Police's office and the Lieutenant Governor's Office on 18 March.
The Quint has withheld the name of the second complainant at Dayalpur Police Station for safety reasons. However, we are willing to share the complaint with the police if called upon to do so.
While the complaint deals with several aspects, including the alleged involvement of the supporters of BJP leaders Jagdish Pradhan and Kapil Mishra, we are only providing details of what is relevant to Akram's case.
For context, the complaint begins by alleging that the police and supporters of Jagdish Pradhan attacked women protesters at Bhajanpura main road on 24 February.
"On hearing news of this attack, many people came forward to rescue the women. The owner of Mohan Nursing Home, his employee and associates, began firing and throwing bombs at these people. Because of this, many boys died there and many were injured".
Referring specifically to Akram’s case, the complainant writes, “Both hands of a boy got grievously injured in the explosion”.
The complaint supports two other allegations in Akram's complaint:
- The slogans chanted by rioters in support of BJP leaders like Jagdish Pradhan and Kapil Mishra.
"Then the people who had come from Bhajanpura chanted 'Jagdish Pradhan Zindabad','Kapil Mishra Zindabad', 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Ka**e Murdabad'. Then they came and vandalised the petrol pump and also the Mazaar (tomb or dargah) in the middle of the Bhajanpura road,” the complaint says.
- The part about people returning from the Ijtima being attacked.
"They were uttering obscene abuses against Muslims and they were beating up people who were coming back from the Ijtima".
The third aspect in which this complaint supports Akram’s allegations is the use of Mohan Nursing Home by rioters.
Alleged Use of Mohan Nursing Home by Rioters
Alleging a deeper involvement of Mohan Nursing Home, the complaint says, "The people who were killed were taken away in the Mohan Nursing Home vehicle. All this happened in the presence of the police".
The complaint alleges the owner of Mohan Nursing Home fired bullets even on 25 February.
“The next day (25 February) the atmosphere was extremely tense and there was massive police presence at Chandbagh and Bhajanpura road. At around 12:30-1:00 pm some women brought a photo of Babasaheb Ambedkar to the protest site and they spread something on the ground and sat there.”
“A little while later, the owner of Mohan Nursing Home and his employee began firing bullets. One bullet hit a boy on the back and he died there.”Complaint filed at Dayalpur police station.
A video which went viral during the riots, shows rioters, some of whom are wearing helmets, pelting stones from the roof of Mohan Nursing Home. It does seem that bullets were also being fired.
The identity of the rioters cannot be established.
Response from Owner of Mohan Nursing Home
The Quint reached out to Dr Sunil Kumar, one of the owners of Mohan Nursing Home, who denied being present at the hospital during the riots.
“I wasn’t there during those days. I was out of Delhi... people can say anything they want in complaints.”Dr Sunil Kumar, owner of Mohan Nursing Home
On being asked where he was, he replied "Indirapuram" which is in the Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, about 20 km away. "And my brother (Anil Kumar) was also not at the hospital. He was in Bhajanpura," he added. Bhajanpura is about one kilometre away.
Regarding allegations that the roof of Mohan Nursing Home was being used to pelt stones and fire bullets, Sunil Kumar said, "I was not there so I am not aware of what happened".
He says that the police hasn’t called him for an inquiry so far.
In the three charge sheets studied by The Quint in detail, regarding the killing of Ankit Sharma, Dilbar Negi and Head Constable Ratan Lal respectively, we haven’t found any mention of the alleged use of Mohan Nursing Home by rioters. This, despite the presence of several videos on it.
The Quint also reached out to SHO Dayalpur Police Station Tarkeshwar Singh regarding the status of Akram’s case, but he has not responded yet. The story will be updated if and when he responds.
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