Jammu & Kashmir

‘He’s on death bed’: Jailed Hurriyat leader’s daughter reiterates need of medical attention for ailing father

Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmad Shah with his daughter, Ruwa Shah. [Photo: Facebook/ ruwa.shah]

Srinagar: More than a week after Ruwa Shah, daughter of Kashmiri incarcerated Hurriyat leader Mohammad Altaf Shah, wrote to the Prime Minister of India seeking urgent medical help for her ailing father, has yet again highlighted her father’s declining health condition and asked for immediate medical attention.

The ailing Hurriyat leader was arrested in 2017 by the National Investigation Agency of India and is currently lodged in Tihar jail.

However, due to his deteriorating health condition, his daughter has been requesting the jail authorities to move her father to the proper hospital instead of jail ICU where he is currently on oxygen support.

In a series of Tweets, Ruwa said that her father had been diagnosed with renal cancer that had metastasized “and spread to other parts of his body, including his bones” and required immediate medical attention.

“My incarcerated father has been diagnosed of [sic]] acute renal cancer which has metastasis and has spread to his other body parts, including his bones. It is my whole family’s request to please allow us to see him and consider his bail application on health grounds,” she said in a tweet in which she tagged both the PMO and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In a letter to the Home Minister Ruwa also asks that Shah’s bail conditions be reconsidered in light of the circumstances and that, until the court hears his bail application, he be put under house arrest.

“Till the bail is granted, with due process, we request you to put him in [sic] house arrest so that we can treat him at a private hospital,” the letter reads.

As per the letter, Shah’s health had been declining for two weeks now but the hospital had yet to start treating her father for cancer because of the absence of the necessary facilities.

“I also visited the NIA court today (Saturday), where the judge assured me that he would help if my father’s latest health reports are presented [before the court],” said Shah, as she sobbed over the phone. The judge has asked the investigation agency for her father’s medical reports by 6 October, Ruwa was quoted by The Print as saying.

“But since my father needs immediate medical attention, he should be granted bail soon,” she said.

After her father had complained of severe pain in his left abdomen two weeks ago, he was taken to the jail hospital.

“The doctor [there] had advised jail authorities to get a CT scan of his kidney done but jail authorities were unmoved,” Shah told The Print. “Had the scan been done, my father would have received proper treatment [by] now. Instead, jail authorities kept him in the jail hospital without getting any scan done.”

In the first letter, Ruwa tweeted on September 22, said: “My father Mr. Altaf Ahmad Shah who is currently incarcerated at Tihar Jail in New Delhi was unwell for over two weeks during which he repeatedly requested the jail authorities to take him to hospital. When he was finally taken to Deendayal hospital Janakpur, the doctors referred him to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for further treatment owing to his seemingly critical condition. However, he was brought back to Tijar jail instead”.

She further mentioned that when the family members inquired about his health at the NIA special court, they came to know that jail authorities had submitted prevaricated reports merely mentioning that he had diabetes and hypertension. She alleged that they did not mention her father’s pneumonia, extremely low hemoglobin, and kidney malfunction.

In the letter which was written on behalf of the entire family, she said that over the last two days, they have had no whereabouts of Shah.

Requesting Modi to intervene and make the requisite medical help reach him, she wrote, ‘waiting with bated breath for your kind intervention’.


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