Gurucharan Karmakar at MGM Medical College and Hospital on Monday. (Srinivas)
Jamshedpur, Nov. 22: Maoists shot at and critically injured a 50-year-old man in Chakulia early today when they failed to find their target, a former rebel and the victim’s son-in-law.
Gurucharan Karmakar, who was shot twice in the abdomen, is battling for life at MGM Medical College and Hospital. He has been referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, for an emergency surgery, but his family has no money to pay ambulance expenses from the steel city to the capital.
It was around 3am that Karmakar, the father of four daughters, heard a knock on the door at his Dhuriduba village home, some 85km from the steel city.
“When I opened the door, five-six persons barged in and asked for my youngest son-in-law Nighu. When I said he was not at home, one of them dragged me outside and shot me twice,” Karmakar braved his pain to tell The Telegraph from the hospital bed.
SP (rural) Ranjit Prasad said Nighu was a resident of Belpahari in bordering West Midnapore district of Bengal. “He was a Naxalite who returned to the mainstream some time ago, and thus invited the wrath of rebels. We suspect the firing was meant to inflict injuries on his father-in-law as a warning,” he said.
Hospital sources said while one bullet had entered and exited Karmakar’s body, the other was still lodged inside, calling for immediate surgery. The MGM authorities referred the case to RIMS soon after the victim was brought in, but his poor family is helpless.
Karmakar, who earns his living as a farmer, needs to cough up Rs 1,200 as fuel expenses for the ambulance.
MGM superintendent Dr S.S. Prasad said they did not have any fund to provide free ambulance to patients.
The health department has provisions to bear ambulance and diagnosis expenses for poor patients, but only from Sabar and Birhor tribes.
Dipali Karmakar, a niece of the victim, admitted before The Telegraph that they were penniless.
“We have no option but to sit here and hope he will survive. We have somehow paid for medicines and have no money left to pay for the ambulance,” she said.