Twenty-three months after Dr Binayak Sen, 59, was arrested for his alleged links with Maoists, his family has alleged that he his health is suffering and he is not getting recommended medical attention.
Sen, a heart patient, may need an angioplasty or bypass surgery, said Dr Ashish Malhotra, a cardiologist, who examined him on the fast-track court’s recommendation at the Heart Care Centre, Raipur, on March 25.
But four weeks later, Sen, who in February had petitioned the court for treatment at the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, has not been given the recommended medical attention.
Sen — a paediatrician and a public health specialist who is also national vice-president of the Chattisgarh-based People’s Union for Civil Liberties — was diagnosed with hypertension, angina (chest discomfort) and benign prostatic hypertrophy
(enlarged prostrate). In his prescription, a copy of which is with HT, Dr Malhotra referred him to “CMC, Vellore.”
“He has had heart disease since 2004 and has lost 22 kg since he was imprisoned. He needs immediate medical attention and was referred to Vellore for treatment, but was not taken there,” said his wife Ilina Sen, a professor at the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University in Wardha, who also runs an NGO, Rupantar.
However, authorities at Raipur Central Jail disagree. “We did not take him to CMC because of the security issues involved… We have the same facilities at Escorts and Apollo here and even called police guards to escort him there, but he refused.
Sen gave it to us in writing that he did not want to go to a private hospital,” jail superintendent S.S. Tigga told HT.
“Binayak did write a letter,” said Ilina, “but that was saying that he did not want to be treated at a hospital recommended by the jail authorities as he felt there was a threat to his life. Tell me, why should he go to hospitals headed by doctors qualified as surgeons and interventionists when he can be treated at Vellore, where as an alumnus he has certain benefits,” asked Ilina. She said she and her daughters Pranhita, 24, and Aparajita, 18 — who live in Mumbai — were very concerned.