Delhi riots: Death lurks in hospitals as many of those admitted in critical state

Ghughuti Bulletin

NEW DELHI: On the fifth day of the mayhem in northeast Delhi, the death toll has risen to 32 on Thursday. One of those who had died was a mentally unstable man who was standing outside his house to help people. He collapsed after getting shot. By the time he was taken to a hospital, he had died.

The family of 22-year-old Mehtab had planned to get him treated at a bigger hospital in March. However, the plans ended shortly after his death. Yasmin, his sister-in-law, had a hard time holding back her tears as she waited for his body. She broke down after seeing another victim’s body being handed over to his family.

“What is this community divide that has been created and is taking the lives of innocent people? Mehtab’s best friend was a Hindu. Despite his mental instability, he was always very sensitive towards other people. He had stepped out of the house after hearing the gunshots just to ensure that everyone around was safe. Within five minutes, he was shot dead. A few people locked our house from the outside and we had a hard time getting Mehtab inside, but it was too late by then,” Yasmin said.

Like him, 32-year-old Alok Tiwari, a resident of Shiv Vihar, had ventured out to “protect his neighbourhood” from outsiders. However, he was caught in the crossfire.

A relative said they are yet to know the exact cause of his death. “It could have been a gunshot or stones. He was bleeding profusely from the head where he was hit. He was rushed to GTB Hospital, but he could not make it. The entire family is still in shock,” the relative added. Tiwari was married and had two children.

Another victim, Rahul Thakur (23), was shot dead when he stepped out to buy milk. “He feared we would run out of groceries and milk. He was shot in the chest and was found bleeding profusely,” said a relative.

At the emergency wards of hospitals, over 200 injured were ferried in the last 24 hours, several of them in a critical condition. Most had bullet wounds or were beaten with sticks. One of the critically injured was 22-year-old Shahrukh. He was beaten with rods and stripped naked. He was then paraded on the road. He is in the ICU at GTB Hospital and remains critical, said his father Yakub Ali.

At Jag Pravesh Hospital, Behrav, a resident of Brijpuri, was rushed in on Wednesday evening. He had been attacked by a mob in the interior lanes of the locality. Bleeding profusely, he is said to be serious by the doctors. His relatives said he had gone out to fetch grocery. He was cornered by a group, forced to remove his pants to prove his religion, thrashed and thrown into a drain.

Abdul Samad (21), who had gone to pray at the local masjid in Mustafabad, suffered a similar fate. Rioters barged inside and started beating people. Samad was hit by sticks and stones, which left him bleeding under his left eye. He was rushed to Al-Hind Hospital on Tuesday night and then taken to GTB Hospital on Wednesday morning. “I was provided basic treatment at Al-Hind. We waited the entire night as we could not leave the hospital,” said Samad.

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