One-hundred fourteen days after she was admitted to GB Pant Hospital for treatment of spinal injuries, allegedly sustained in police action during Ramdev’s fast at Ramlila Maidan on June 5, Raj Bala, 54, died of cardiac arrest. Though doctors tried to revive her for more than an hour, her organs stopped responding.
Bala, a Gurgaon-based yoga instructor who also had been a former councillor of the Gurgaon Municipal Council, had suffered fracture and dislocation of cervical vertebraes with paralysis of all four limbs after the midnight crackdown on Ramdev’s supporters at the Ramlila ground. “She was also on fast with him (Ramdev). Though she was conscious in the ICU but could barely speak,” said Rakesh Malik, her daughter-in-law.
The family have alleged that Bala received injuries during the police lathicharge, but the doctors claim that she had been suffering from Osteoporosis, which results in the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density. “For such people, even a slight fall can result in fracture. It cannot be said whether it was lathicharge or the following stampede that caused the injury,” said one of the doctors. The Delhi Police have also denied the family allegations. The family, however, wants a thorough investigation in the matter.
“She was a resident of Haryana. We had provided her with treatment. Health Minister (AK Walia) will meet her family and will see how we can help them,” said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit while replying to queries by reporters on the issue.
In her three months in the hospital, Bala underwent three surgeries. Though the post mortem was over by 12pm, the family accepted the body after six hours, as they were demanding her entire medical report. The hospital has provided the death summary to the family.
In a statement, Ramdev termed the death as an ‘ultimate sacrifice’ in the second freedom struggle. Reacting to the news, BJP national spokesperson JP Nadda said, “We had said that it (lathicharge) was an inhuman and undemocratic action. Action should be taken against the policemen involved. Home Minister P Chidambaram should take the responsibility.”
Bala was planning to contest municipal corporation of Gurgaon elections from her ward.