‘Troopers asked why we did not inform them about two injured youth who came to the hospital’
ANANTNAG: Health department employees posted at Kulgam’s Frisal Primary Health Centre locked down the hospital Tuesday against the ruthless thrashing by army soldiers on some of their colleagues Monday night for not informing them about the arrival of two motorcyclists who had met an accident near Kujjar. Top health department officials said that the concerned army officials later apologised for the beating.
The incident took place at around 9:30 pm Monday after the two motorcyclists rushed to the hospital for treatment.
“Two motorcycle-borne youth who had met with an accident near Kujjar came to the hospital for treatment. We gave them first aid and referred one of them to the sub-district hospital Yaripora as he had suffered grave injuries,” Firdous Ahmad, an ambulance driver posted in the hospital, told Kashmir Reader.
Fifteen to 20 minutes later, Ahmad said, the soldiers led by their officer arrived and started abusing and thrashing hospital employees.
“The army officer asked us as to why we did not inform them about the arrival of the two injured youth at the hospital. We told him that we were supposed to treat the two injured youth, irrespective of who they were,” Firdous, who was himself thrashed brutally, told Kashmir Reader.
Two other employees of the hospital beaten by the army were identified as Haji Abdul Hamid (pharmacist) and Tanveer Ahmad (nursing orderly).
Firdous said the army officer, while hurling abuses at the doctor on duty, told the doctor to get out of the room and started beating other employees. “I am sparing you for your qualification. Get out of here,” Firdous quoted the army officer as telling the doctor on duty.
As soon as the doctor left the room, the army men directed those who remained to stand against the walls.
“And as soon as we stood against the wall, they (the army troopers) started beating us with lathis and gun butts. The beating continued for at least 15 minutes. They also showered the choicest abuses on the doctor after he requested them to stop. They stopped only after they felt tired of moving their lathis,” Ahmed told Kashmir Reader.
Due to the severe thrashing, all three employees have severe bruises on their bodies.
In protest against the army’s high-handedness, employees posted at the hospital observed a strike on Tuesday demanding action against the army men involved.
Chief medical officer Dr Mohammad Shafi said that he has taken up the matter with the deputy commissioner, who raised the issue with the concerned army officials.
“Besides, my Block medical officer has gone to meet the army men. The army officials have apologised for their act and have assured us that such an act will never be repeated. So that matter has been resolved amicably,” the CMO told Kashmir Reader.