A Kashmir hospital’s dilemma: How to tell its doctor his son is dead

Faizan had been hit by a bullet in the chest, as clashes broke out in parts of Pulwama.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2018 19:59 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
kashmir encounter,Kashmir,Jammu Kashmir clashes
Villagers during the funeral procession of Faizan Ahmed in Pulwama district of Kashmir on Saturday. (PTi)

On Friday evening, doctors and paramedics posted at the district hospital in Pulwama had to make one of the toughest calls. They had to reveal the news of death of 15-year-old Faizan Ahmad to his father, a doctor working in the same hospital as a medical officer (MO).

Around 5.45pm, doctors in the hospital received a call from neighbouring Rajpora hospital that Dr Gani’s son was injured and was being shifted to the district hospital. “Dr Gani had completed his duty and was at his quarters within the hospital. I sent a message to him and he came back to hospital when his son was being taken inside the operation theatre,” said Dr Abdul Rashid Parra, medical superintendent.

A shaken Dr Abdul Gani was anxiously waiting outside the operation theatre while doctors tried to revive his son who had received bullet during clashes between police and locals who were pelting stones to break the cordon, so that militants who were engaged in an encounter with the forces could escape at Chatpora Pulwama.

“We tried everything but couldn’t revive him as bullet had pierced in his chest close to heart. The most difficult task was to convey the news to our colleague (Dr Gani) about his son’s death,” he said, and added, “As I told Dr Gani about his son’s death, he broke down.”

“For all of us, it was tragic. My other staff members were also crying as the boy had grown in the premises of our hospital,” said Dr Parra. “Faizan was a bright student and his father wanted him to excel in studies, but he became victim of the war going on in south Kashmir,” said another doctor posted in the hospital.

After Faizan was declared dead, medical superintendent and other staff members in the hospital took the boy to his native place at Khrew. “From past three years, we have seen many people dying in our hospital — young, old and students. This time, the hospital lost its own son,” he said. Faizan, a Class 9 student, was buried at his native village on Saturday morning amid rains as thousands participated in the funeral raising pro-freedom slogans.

Director health Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman said his staff performed duties even during odd hours without caring for their own families. “Our staff has rendered many sacrifices and even performed duties when their families were in trouble,” he said.

Police said Faizan was killed during the protest near the encounter site while people where trying to break the cordon. Initially, police said three militants were killed in the encounter, however, later body of militant Sajjad Ahmad of Handwara was recovered at the encounter site.

First Published: Jul 01, 2018 13:03 IST