Chaos, heartbreak at GTB hospital as count of injured, dead kept rising
Around 40 people have been admitted to the hospital with “firearm injuries” and are serious, doctors at GTB hospital said. Over the past two days, 74 injured were also taken to nearby Jag Parvesh Chander hospital, 19 to Lok Nayak hospital, and 10 to Max hospital in Patparganj.
The emergency department of Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital in Dilshad Garden was chaotic, with the hospital receiving over 150 injured — several of them with gunshot wounds — over the past 48 days. Throughout the day, ambulances, police vehicles and autos kept bringing in the bleeding, who had either been shot or had sustained injuries in stone pelting. Accompanying them were family members, who broke down outside the gates of the emergency department.
Around 40 people have been admitted to the hospital with “firearm injuries” and are serious, doctors at GTB hospital said.
Over the past two days, 74 injured were also taken to nearby Jag Parvesh Chander hospital, 19 to Lok Nayak hospital, and 10 to Max hospital in Patparganj.
At least 13 people, including head constable Ratan Lal, were killed in clashes till Tuesday evening.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and home minister Satyendar Jain visited the injured at the hospital.
Families of at least five of the deceased waited outside the mortuary at GTB hospital all day to take their dead home. All but the family of head constable Ratan Lal had to return home disappointed. They were informed that the autopsies will likely happen a day later under the supervision of a five-doctor panel.
“A board is likely to be constituted. There is a lot of confusion over the kind of firearms used; the board will rule out any question that might arise later,” an official from the hospital said. “However, the request for constituting a board should come from the police,” the official added.
Police were unable to comment on the matter till Tuesday night.
On Monday, a man named Shahrukh, 21, was brought to GTB hospital with a gunshot wound by a friend. A bullet went through his right arm and hit him on the right side of the stomach. He said he had stepped out of home in Kabir Nagar to buy some milk when he got shot.
Shsh Alam, 40, was in Mustafabad when he sustained a bullet injury to the left shoulder on Monday. He was brought to the hospital by his nephew. His wife and daughters could not reach the hospital because of the violence.
Of the 74 injured taken to Jag Parvesh Chandra hospital, nine had sustained gunshot wounds. Another injured person, Vinod Kumar, 45, a resident of Arvind Nagar in Ghonda, was brought dead to the hospital Monday night. He had succumbed to grievous head injuries sustained in aggravated assault.
Aman, a minor from near Tent Wala School in Jafrabad, had suffered a bullet injury to the head and jaw. He was referred to LN hospital as his condition was serious.
Aman’s maternal uncle, Shafiq, alleged that police shot Aman while he was going to the market. “He was shot by the police from above the metro station and the bullet hit him in the head,” Shafiq said.
Police, however, denied shooting anyone. “Yes, we fired in the air, to disperse the crowd. But no shot was fired at people,” a senior police officer said, not wishing to be identified.
Reaching the hospital
For people injured in Maujpur and neighbouring areas, reaching the hospital was also a task.
Zulfi Khan, 32, was shot and injured by the mob in the face; the bullet still stuck in his ear. “The ambulance in which I was being taken was attacked by the mob. They were smashing up the vehicle. The driver reversed and rushed us to the hospital by another road. A glass shard injured my sister too,” he said.
For the kin of Rahul Solanki, who died Monday night, it took them almost two hours to reach GTB hospital. They had taken Rahul to four private hospitals that refused to admit him before the family managed to brave the traffic congestion and police barricades to reach GTB hospital.
“Maybe, he could have been saved, had he received medical attention a little earlier,” his father Hari Singh Solanki said.
For Rahul Dubey, going home from the hospital was the problem. His grandfather, Raj Narayan Dubey, had died of a heart attack on Tuesday morning at GTB hospital. He lives barely 1.5 km from the hospital, but for five hours, he could not find one ambulance driver ready to take him home. “I was ready to pay any fare, but they were just not ready,” he said.
Many were torn between taking care of their loved ones at the hospital and worrying about the worsening situation at home. While waiting for news on his son, Salim Khan got a call from home saying that the sweet shop across the street from their house had been vandalised.
“I have just been telling my family to stay locked inside,” he said. “We have no sides to take in this protest, why are we being hurt?” Khan said.