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Repeated Jail Terms Affect Azad’s Health: Bhim Army Chief’s Doctor

A Delhi court slammed Tihar Jail’s authorities for not providing adequate medical treatment to Bhim Army chief.

Published
India
2 min read

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

After Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad’s doctor Harjit Singh Bhatti said that the leader’s medical condition had deteriorated and he could suffer a cardiac arrest if he is not given proper treatment, a Delhi court slammed Tihar Jail’s authorities on Thursday, 9 January.

The court pulled up Tihar Jail’s authorities for acting in a "callous manner" by flouting laws that safeguard a prisoner's rights. It also asked the authorities to provide treatment to Azad who was arrested in connection with violence during an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest in Delhi’s Daryaganj on 20 December.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arul Verma directed the jail authorities to ensure that Azad is treated for polycythemia – a disorder where the blood thickens – and is taken to AIIMS, Delhi.

In a series of tweets on 3 January, Dr Bhatti had raised an alarm over the leader’s health, saying, “I was informed that Chandrashekar bhai repeatedly told Delhi Police about his medical condition in Tihar Jail but the police authorities are not allowing him to visit AIIMS.”

Days after Bhatti's tweet received support on Twitter, Tihar Jail’s Public Relations Officer told Huffpost that the Bhim Army chief's medical reports were "perfectly fine."

Dr Bhatti said, “We don’t believe the Tihar’s PRO. As Azad’s physician, I know that he needs regular check-ups. The repeated jail terms affect his medical treatment as his illness is such that it needs timely inspections, and that does not happen in jails.”

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Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for Azad, told the court that his symptoms showed signs of exacerbation and he required phlebotomy as the treatment, which the jail authorities were not aware of.

Advocate OP Bharti, also appearing for Azad, said that the jail authorities did not take the requisite action and that he was being treated like a hardened criminal.

"He had watery eyes and itching and then conjunctivitis. All these are signs of deterioration of his disease. But the jail authorities only treated him for conjunctivitis instead of the underlying disease. He was not given the adequate and requisite treatment. He is not a hardcore criminal. He is just a political prisoner,” Bharti said.

"The jail authorities are putting him in harm's way. It is a conspiracy. Let him be sent to AIIMS for treatment. He had itching and disturbed sleep, so the jail authorities suggested he be taken to a psychiatrist. This is either ignorance or deliberation," said Pracha.

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