JAMMU: A team of specialist doctors who were on way to a charitable cancer clinic in Sopore were assaulted by a group of youth in Narbal, where a teenager was shot dead by the police on Saturday.
The doctors team comprised Prof Shad Salim Akhtar, 61, a renowned medical oncologist who runs the Kashmir Valley’s only charitable cancer centre in Sopore, Dr Farhat Jabeen, 56, a prominent gynaecologist, Dr Khalida Salim, 60, a prominent radiologist and Dr Atiqueullah, 83, a noted private medical practitioner of Sopore.
They said that the youth were not part of a protest march that was protesting the yesterday’s killing. The doctors said the youth attacked their vehicle which clearly had the doctors’ sign.
The vehicle was damaged, the driver beaten and keys of the car stolen, they said.
“Seeing the protests from afar, the driver of the vehicle Manzoor Ahmed decided to turn back and return to Srinagar. He executed a U-turn and was heading back towards Srinagar when a few youth who were not part of the protests attacked the vehicle from the front. These youth were hiding in nearby buildings that line the road,” the doctors said in a statement.
“The youth broke the windowpane of the driver’s side, pulled Manzoor Ahmed out and started thrashing him. Seeing this Dr Farhat Jabeen and Prof Shad Salim got out of the car to pacify the youth, explaining that they were doctors and were turning back. The youth instead, despite the age and frailty of the persons concerned, hurled abuse at the doctors, and pushed and shoved the doctors broke other parts of the vehicle, and ran away with the keys,” the statement said.
After intervention by local residents, the youth returned the keys. The driver was taken to hospital for treatment, the statement said.
“It is sad, very sad. I have lived through the 1990s and 2008, 2010. I never have been assaulted or abused like this by Kashmiri youth. These boys were not part of the protest march at Narbal. They appeared to be trained and paid goons for someone who has no interest in Kashmir’s peace. Even in the worst of curfews and strikes, people always helped us pass. Youth used to praise us for our work in saving lives of people. I had very sick cancer patients at Sopore today who will miss their chemotherapy doses,” Dr Shad was quoted as saying in the statement.