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Mumbai watchman’s bid to cycle to J&K pays off, CRPF unites him with ailing father




CRPF officials arranged for Mohammad Arif's ailing father's treatment at a hospital in Chandigarh and facilitated the father-son reunion | Photo: CRPF Madadgaar on Twitter
CRPF officials arranged for Mohammad Arif’s ailing father’s treatment at a hospital in Chandigarh and facilitated the father-son reunion | Photo: CRPF Madadgaar on Twitter

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Srinagar: Mohammad Arif, the 36-year-old who had, last week, set out on an arduous 2,100 km bicycle ride from his place of work in Mumbai to his home in Jammu’s Rajouri district to meet his ailing father, finally heaved a sigh of relief Tuesday.

Arif managed to reach Chandigarh today with the help of the Central Reserve Police Force, whose officials from J&K zone had, meanwhile, brought his father, Wazir Hussain, to the city’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research. Hussain, who had had a stroke last week, will be operated upon at the facility after which the two will go home provided the condition of the patient remains stable.

“The doctors are saying that everything will be fine. I don’t know if it is true indeed or perhaps the doctors are giving me strength because they have learnt of my story. I am hoping that my father gets well,” says Arif, who worked as a security guard in the Mumbai Central area before he learnt that his father had suffered a brain hemorrhage.

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Due to the ongoing lockdown in the country and suspension of all forms of transport, Arif decided to purchase a second-hand bicycle and ride it all the way from Mumbai to Rajouri in Jammu, around 2,100 km away. ThePrint was the first to report Arif’s long journey after he began cycling last Thursday.

The CRPF then took note of Arif’s plight and airlifted his father to Government Medical College in Jammu. Arif was subsequently intercepted in Vadodara, Gujarat, after having ridden more than 400 km. He was taken in by the paramilitary force, who also provided food and other assistance.

CRPF taking care of all expenses 

Given that it was not possible for the CRPF to ferry him amid a lockdown, Arif was first sent to Jodhpur in a private truck carrying essentials. Then he was put in another truck to Ludhiana and then to Chandigarh where his father was brought in an ambulance.

CRPF special DG, Zulfikar Hasan, who personally overlooked the developments, says, “Mr Arif’s father was taken to Chandigarh last evening in an ambulance as the hospital in Jammu informed us that he needed specialist neurologist care. Tonight he will undergo a surgery”. Another CRPF officer said the paramilitary is taking care of all expenses incurred.

Meanwhile, Arif is still coming to terms with the fact that he finally managed to see his father. “If everything goes fine, we will return home to Rajouri. I will try to find work there. I want to be with my father now.” He also expressed gratitude to individuals and the paramilitary force for helping him.

Arif’s plight was first highlighted by a Mumbai-based social activist, Dipesh Tank, via a Facebook post, after which the story was carried by ThePrint. Subsequently CRPF swooped in and ensured the father-son union.

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

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‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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