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3 men injured in police firing while rallying for Nirmala Pant suffer as state stops medical fund

- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Feb 22, 2019-

The persons who sustained bullet injuries last August, when security personnel opened fire during a ‘Justice for Nirmala’ protest in Mahendranagar, have complained that they have been deprived of proper medical treatment by the government.

The three injured are still receiving treatment in different hospitals in Kathmandu and Chitwan, but they say the government has long stopped providing them treatment expenses.

“The government discontinued our treatment expenses three months ago. We are bearing the treatment cost ourselves,” said Ganga Devi Deuba, the mother of injured Umesh Deuba, during a press meet organised jointly by the injured and their relatives in Mahendranagar on Thursday. They demanded the authorities to arrange proper treatment for the injured and provide treatment expenses.

Read: Family mourns, and a country recoils at teen girl’s rape and murder

Umesh and Arjun Bhandara are currently being treated at the Kathmandu-based TU Teaching Hospital (TUTH), while Tej Bhatta is receiving treatment at a hospital in Chitwan.

“The hospital discharged him (Umesh) about three months ago. The government stopped providing grants for his treatment right then.

But we have to take him to Kathmandu every month for follow-ups, which requires a huge amount of money. At this point, we are financially drained,” lamented Ganga Devi, adding that they need to spend about Rs 60,000 a month to bring him to and fro Kathmandu in an ambulance coupled with other expenses for treatment and their stay in the Capital. Umesh has sustained bullet injuries on his left leg and both arms.

Arjun, who is still admitted at the TUTH in Kathmandu, had his right leg amputated. His brother Yogendra said Arjun is still in a semi-unconscious state.

More: A mother cries for out-of-coma son with amputated leg; An ailing father writes songs for murdered daughter

“Arjun hasn’t been able to recover properly due to negligence in the treatment being offered at the hospital. We don’t receive the treatment expense on time; the amount is given to us only after frequenting the Ministry of Home Affairs continuously for 10 to 15 days,” said Yogendra.

Because of the government’s failure to find the culprit/s responsible for the rape and murder case of Nirmala Pant, protests had been—and are still being—organised across the nation demanding justice for the teenager. On August 23 and 24, 2018, violence had ensued during protests in Mahendranagar and security personnel opened fire on protesters.

The protest resulted in the death of a 14-year-old local boy and the injury of 10 others.

Those living shrapnel injuries also express their grievances of not receiving proper medical treatment. Krita Prasad Paneru of Laljhadi Rural Municipality-5 is still living with shrapnel lodged in his legs. He was referred to Kathmandu from Dhangadhi for further treatment. According to him, the doctors involved in his treatment at TUTH sent him home stating that his condition was beyond their help.

Read more: Investigations into the rape and murder of the teen girl continue to make headlines. But the question remains: Who raped and killed Nirmala?

“They (doctors) said there are many shrapnel lodged in my leg and that they could not be removed. They have advised me to go for amputation. I experience severe pain while walking which renders me immobile,” he shared.

Chetan Bhatta, another injured, is also living with shrapnel in his arms. “Doctors said there are 200 to 250 shrapnel in my arms. I can’t move my arms sometimes and the doctors have asked me to pay a visit to the hospital whenever the pain becomes intolerable, which is all the time,” he added.      

Shani Khuna of Bhimdutta Municipality-18 had died of bullet injuries and more than 10 others were injured as the protests staged demanding justice for Nirmala turned violent in August last year. 

Published: 22-02-2019 08:35

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