ADVERTISEMENT

'He Needs Surgery, He Could Die': UAPA Accused Atiq-ur-Rehman's Plea Moved in HC

"We have often had to rush him to the hospital. We are afraid he could die," Rehman's brother, Mateen, says.

Updated
India
6 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>"We have often had to rush him to the hospital. We are afraid he could die," Rehman's brother, Mateen, says.</p></div>
i

"You are the first journalist to have called me to ask about my brother. He needs surgery, or we are afraid he will die," Mateen tells this reporter, with a sense of urgency, from his home in west UP's Muzaffarnagar.

Mateen's brother, 27-year-old Atiq-ur-Rehman, is one of the eight people who have been accused of a 'conspiracy to create a law and order problem' after a Dalit girl died after being raped in west UP's Hathras in September 2020.

The UP Police's Special Task Force booked Rehman and seven others, including journalist Siddique Kappan, under various stringent sections of the IPC like sedition and promoting enmity between groups. They have also been booked under the anti-terror law called the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which makes bail nearly impossible for the accused.

ADVERTISEMENT
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The UAPA accused  being escortedby UP Police.</p></div>

The UAPA accused being escortedby UP Police.

(Photo: PTI)

Rehman suffers from a heart condition called Aortic Regurgitation, which occurs when your heart's aortic valve doesn't close tightly. The most serious complication that could arise from this condition is heart failure, his family says.

"A month before he was arrested in October 2020, he was told to get a Bentall procedure to replace the aortic valve from the doctor in AIIMS. Which is why we moved a plea to get him interim bail for 60 days, so he could get surgery in AIIMS," Mateen explains.

Explaining what happens to Rehman when he falls sick, Mateen said, "He gets anxious, he is unable to breathe, and his hands and legs begin to shiver. He sweats profusely and is unable to talk. We have taken him to hospitals in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Aligarh, and to AIIMS in Delhi," he said.

Rehman's family is worried he might die in jail. "We are only asking for him to get the surgery urgently, so he can return to jail fitter. If his valve stops working, blood won't be pumped throughout his body and he will die," Mateen says. Their lawyers moved a plea for him to get his surgery, but it was rejected by a Mathura court.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>This is Mateen, Rehman's elder brother. He is taking care of Rehman's two sons and wife while his brother is in jail.</p></div>

This is Mateen, Rehman's elder brother. He is taking care of Rehman's two sons and wife while his brother is in jail.

(Photo:The Quint)

Speaking in defence of his brother, Mateen said, "You see how all the accused slapped with UAPA are Muslim? Didn't other people go to Hathras, like Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad and Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary. Why are only eight Muslim men being singled out? They did not even reach the spot," Mateen, who is a sugarcane farmer, says.

Besides Rehman and Kappan, the other accused in the case are Masood Ahmed, Alam, Rauf Sharif, Firoze, Ansad Badruddin and Danish. While the first seven are in jail, Danish has not been arrested as he moved Allahabad HC against coercive action.

ADVERTISEMENT

What is the Medical Plea?

32-year-old Mateen, who is five years elder to Rehman, says that he has taken care of him as his own child. "Main hi usko apne haathon mein leke ghoomta tha aur godi mein rakhta tha jab hum hospital jaate the. (I used to support him, make him rest on my lap, when we would visit hospitals)," he said.

Rehman suffers from a heart condition called Aortic Regurgitation, which occurs when your heart's aortic valve doesn't close tightly. The most serious complication that could arise from this condition is heart failure.

"A month before he was arrested in October 2020, he was told to get a Bentall procedure to replace the aortic valve from the doctor in AIIMS. Which is why we moved a plea to get him interim bail for 60 days, so he could get surgery in AIIMS," Mateen explains.

Mateen says he has seen his brother fall sick constantly for years, "He gets anxious, he is unable to breathe, and his hands and legs begin to shiver. He sweats profusely and is unable to talk. We have taken him to hospitals in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Aligarh, and to AIIMS in Delhi."

Rehman's family is worried he might die in jail. "We are only asking for him to get the surgery urgently, so he can return to jail fitter. If his valve stops working, blood won't be pumped throughout his body and he will die," Mateen says, sounding restless.

In June 2021, Rehman's plea for interim bail was rejected. The plea has been moved since in the Allahabad High Court, but the case is yet to be listed. The delay is scaring his wife, brother and uncle.

Why Did The Court Reject Rehman's Plea?

Shedding light on the hearing of the plea, Rehman's advocate Saifan said that the medical facilities are not adequate in Mathura. "They do not understand the complicated nature of this condition. Despite that, and it is on record, they have taken him to hospitals in Mathura and Agra many times. Sometimes in the middle of the night urgently as well," Saifan explains.

The police submitted in court that he was getting adequate medical attention. The court order from June 2021 states, "The police have said that the accused has been taken to Agra and is being treated in the district hospital. Presently his health is satisfactory. In the facts and circumstances of the said case, the accused is not granted interim bail. This application has been disposed of."
ADVERTISEMENT

Rehman's wife, Sanjeeda Begum, who is herself a heart patient, says, "I am very worried about my husband. He does not sound alright when we talk. I have not even told our children that he is in jail, they are 3 and 4 years old, too young."

Rehman's uncle Kunwar Sakhawat, who is the most active on this case, believes that this is happening as the courts are under pressure. "The courts are meant to be for the people, but it is obvious that they are under government pressure. Despite sound medical grounds, they are not granting him interim bail. We feel we are being targeted for being Muslim. You write everything that I am saying, I am ready to face the consequences," he said. Sakhawat hails from Hapur district in UP and is currently doing a private job in Aligarh.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>This is Rehman's uncle, Sakhawat. According to him, the Mathura court did not grant Rehman relief because they are under government pressure.</p></div>

This is Rehman's uncle, Sakhawat. According to him, the Mathura court did not grant Rehman relief because they are under government pressure.

(Photo:The Quint)

When asked why he cannot be treated in the hospitals in Agra, Mateen said, "We have been going to this doctor in AIIMS for over a decade. Everyone knows that medical attention in Delhi is better. Over the years we have spent a lot of money on tests, medicines, and injections. Now if we go to a different doctor and if different treatment is prescribed, then what will we do? This could be dangerous as well as expensive for us."

Allegations Against Rehman 'Fake'

Mateen says Rehman is a scholar who was pursuing his PhD from Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut. "He was never a member of Popular Front of India, but was a student leader. He was a member of the Campus Front of India which is a perfectly legal organisation. All these allegations, people calling him a terrorist, is all wrong," Mateen says.

After Rehman was arrested, he met his family in jail. "My brother told me that he was going to Hathras, where the Dalit girl had been raped. He said he was going to help ensure the family gets justice and their voice is heard. This UAPA case is a fake one," Mateen recalls, adding that when was it wrong to help a family get justice. Sakhawat believes that the UP government is making up fake cases to deflect attention.

The family is worried they will lose Rehman. "He can die any time. The heart can fail any time. We have rushed him to hospitals in the middle of the night, so we know the kind of dangers involved. Now our hopes are in the High Court," Sakhawat says.

The lawyers are waiting for the matter to be listed in the Allahabad High Court as of now. "He has rights to get proper medical attention, we are hoping the High Court will see reason and allow him to get surgery," advocate Saifan said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

ADVERTISEMENT
Published: 
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT