Lohardaga policeman Imran Khan at Apollo Hospitals in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Like the injured policemen and poll personnel who were wheeled into Apollo Hospitals on Friday, Imran Khan (30) was also on election duty when he fell ill.
But the Lohardaga policeman, who is undergoing treatment for some stomach problems at the same hospital, has not been able to attract the attention of his bosses and the state machinery or get any help. Reason: the higher-ups are not convinced that he fell ill while discharging his duties.
Though Imran could not speak when The Telegraph visited the hospital as he was sleeping after taking medicines, his wife Shabana Khatoon (25) said that he had performed election duty in Lohardaga on April 10 and in Bundu-Tamar area under Ranchi constituency on April 17.
“He did not eat on April 17. While returning, he and his friends had dinner at a roadside hotel and drank contaminated water. Thereafter, they went to sleep at Khel Gaon in Ranchi. Next morning, he started suffering from stomach ache. As his condition worsened, a cousin working with Ranchi traffic police rushed him to RIMS,” she said.
At RIMS, Imran was allegedly not given proper attention and was taken to two private nursing homes before being admitted to Apollo on April 19.
“The hospital bill has exceeded Rs 1.5 lakh. I had to sell my ornaments to pay it. The government has not bothered to help us,” Shabana said.
“My son has never consumed liquor. Occasionally, he chews khaini (tobacco). Doctors have told us that iron-laced water has blocked some of his vital organs though a proper diagnosis is yet to be done,” added his 55-year-old father Raiz Ul Haq Khan.
Lohardaga SP Mrityunjay Kumar argued that it was difficult for him to believe that someone’s liver or kidney could get damaged after drinking contaminated water one day.
“Besides, this person has not formally approached him for any assistance,” he added.
Apollo Hospitals’ medical superintendent P.D. Sinha maintained that he had already handed over a status report on Imran’s health to his family.
“It is too early to say what has triggered the ailment,” he added.