Doctor detained in Kashmir for voicing concern over healthcare crisis
August 28, 2019
Image courtesy: The Leaflet
A Kashmiri doctor who warned the three-week curfew and communications blackout would lead to critical medication shortages and deaths in the Valley was whisked away by the Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday.
Efforts to discover where the doctor, urologist Omar Salim from Srinagar, was taken failed due to the communications blockade, according to media reports.
Given the restrictions imposed by the government in Kashmir, Omar Salim, a urologist at Government Medical College, while speaking to the media at a press enclave in Srinagar was taken away by the police, right after he mentioned the health crisis that Kashmir is facing, The Telegraph reported.
“Holding a ‘request and not a protest’ placard, Omar spoke to the media for around 10 minutes. Before he could continue, the police whisked him away to an unknown location,” the report stated.
Soon after he was taken into custody by the state police, Omar’s brother and an acquaintance took to Twitter and questioned the reason for his alleged arrest.
Thats my brother!! He wasn't even protesting. He was just talking to @BBCUrdu about patients not being able to get dialysis…why was he arrested???
— Othman Salim (@othman_salim) August 26, 201
“I have known Omar since I was a kid and he is someone I have always looked up to. Beyond shaken. A doctor speaking up for his patients is arrested. It was easier for him to say nothing but he could not do that. That is why I have always admired him,” Gibran Ali wrote on Twitter.
The police vehicle in which Omar was taken away had its number plate covered.
Modi government had cancelled the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5. Thereafter, curfew and a communications blackout were enforced in the state.
Even though some restrictions have been eased, especially in Jammu, but the Kashmir Valley mostly remains in lockdown.
Besides separatist leaders, mainstream political leaders including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti continue to be under house arrest.
First published in The Leaflet.
Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.