Riot victims at GTB Hospital were mostly young men

By, New Delhi
Mar 04, 2020 11:43 PM IST

At Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, most of the victims of the riots in north-east Delhi last week who came in injured or brought dead or died during treatment, were young men.

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The hospital had received the highest number of casualties and injured from the riot-torn areas. It treated 279 people for injuries, while 38 were either brought dead or died during treatment.

The communal violence had peaked on February 24 and February 25 in north-east Delhi. Till Tuesday, the official death count was 47. Around 400 people were injured.

According to the hospital data, almost 60% of those injured in the violence and treated there were within the age group of 20 to 40 years. Those injured were also predominantly men, with only 6 women being brought to the hospital.

“Usually whenever there are disasters like this, we see that it is the young men who are injured or killed. And the data from the hospital substantiates that. Almost all the people who were brought to the hospital were men in their productive age,” said Dr Sunil Kumar, medical director of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

Although the hospital could not provide a similar break-up of the 38 who died, the trend was similar, according to Dr Kumar. Only one woman, 85-year-old Khajuri Khas resident Akbari was among the dead.

There is a direct and an indirect impact of the deaths of young earning members of the family on the society, he said.

“Usually, when there is violence like this, we look at the direct impact – the 2Ds of death and disability. But, there is a larger indirect impact on society; the debt and destruction of family. We have seen families go into debt for treatment or the last rites of their loved ones. The death of a young man also means it takes away an earning member of the family, and in many cases he is the only one supporting the family,” Dr Kumar said.

After the violence ebbed, when a tally of the types of injuries was taken, the data shows the majority were blunt traumas resulting from stone pelting or beating with sticks. Around 67 of those injured were shot.

“Initially, we saw several firearm injuries and thought that maybe that was predominant. However, now that we have analysed the data we have realised that most of the patients came in with blunt trauma, around double the number of those who were shot,” said Dr Kumar.

Apart from that the hospital saw some burn injuries and a person with a drill bit into the head.


    Anonna Dutt is a health reporter at Hindustan Times. She reports on Delhi government’s health policies, hospitals in Delhi, and health-related feature stories.

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