Patients bear brunt of protest

Mahendru resident Dhiraj Nayak didn't have idea that the decision to visit a physiotherapist on Monday would see him being beaten up by bandh supporters.

By Shuchismita Chakraborty in Patna
  • Published 11.09.18
  •  
Dhiraj Nayak

Patna: Mahendru resident Dhiraj Nayak didn't have idea that the decision to visit a physiotherapist on Monday would see him being beaten up by bandh supporters.

Dhiraj (26), a second-year LLB students at Patna Law College, was on his way to Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) but he was gheraoed by bandh supporters along with a few other people who had taken the same autorickshaw he had boarded. The mob, which was led by a political leader, not only beat up the autorickshaw driver, but also pulled out all other commuters along with Dhiraj. They beat up Dhiraj to the extent that he ended up getting a huge swelling on his left wrist.

"I am going to get an X-ray done tomorrow. I somehow got my physiotherapy sessions done at the hospital for excessive back pain which I am experiencing for the past few days. I cannot endure much pain. So I am leaving the hospital right now," said Dhiraj at IGIMS, who was one among the many patients who had to face problems due to the strike called by the opposition parties.

"The bandh supporters had claimed that there were against the steep rise in the cost of fuel prices but how could be they so unethical that they didn't mind once while hurting people. Was this bandh call given for people's sake or for hurting people?" asked Dhiraj.

Sachhidanand Kumar, a resident of Hathmalgola (around 60km east of Patna), too, had to face problems while taking his daughter Shweta to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) on Monday. "My daughter had been experiencing chronic abdominal pain since yesterday. Yesterday, we had taken her to a primary health centre but doctors there referred to PMCH but we could not rush at that moment. Today when we headed for PMCH, we were stopped at many points due to which it took us four-and-a half hours to reach PMCH, which we could have covered in two hours. All the while my daughter was crying but bandh supporters didn't show mercy at all," said Sachhidanand.

Madan Das, a resident of Jamui (around 250km southeast of Patna), too, said he faced problems in reaching PMCH. "My father-in-law had an accident last night. The sadar hospital referred him to PMCH. We had to wait for around two hours at different points as the bandh supporters didn't let us go. I kept on pleading with them but all went in vain. Is the increase in diesel and petrol prices a bigger issue than life?" asked Madan.

A senior doctor of PMCH, wishing anonymity, admitted that many patients, even emergency patients, reached hospital late due to being gheraoed by bandh supporters at many points.

"But we ensured that as soon as patients came to us, we started their treatment without making any further delay. The number of patients turning up at the outpatient and emergency department was low compared to the other days. This might be the bandh effect," he said.