The four Dalit youths brutally thrashed by a cow vigilante group on July 11 in Gujarat’s Una were forcibly discharged from the Rajkot Civil Hospital even before they had recovered fully, their friends and relatives have alleged.
The four were taken to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital more than 355 kilometres away on Wednesday after one of them vomited blood and others complained of chest pain.
“None of them were able to walk this morning when we decided to take them to the hospital in Ahmedabad,” said Keval Rathod, a relative.
“We are taking them to Ahmedabad in a trust-run hospital’s ambulance under police protection,” Rathod said, adding that the four were discharged from the Rajkot hospital under pressure from a BJP leader.
Dr Dharmendra Vatsraj, the superintendent of the Rajkot Civil Hospital, denied the accusation and said the four had “suffered blood clotting and did not require any specific treatment from the very beginning.”
He said they required no further treatment and had been prescribed pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines.
Gir-Somnath district collector, Ajay Kumar, said the four have been taken to Ahmedabad without the consent of district authorities. As per the standard procedure in such cases, they should have first consulted the local medical team. If their condition was serious then the medical superintendent of Una Civil Hospital should have been consulted. But these procedures were not followed,” he said.
The assault on the four Dalit youths for skinning a dead cow triggered nation-wide outrage and even echoed in Parliament. Gujarat witnessed days of violence as angry Dalits took to the streets in protest, accusing the BJP-led state government of caste bias and discrimination.