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Student leader Atikur seriously ill, citizens seek President’s help

IndiaStudent leader Atikur seriously ill, citizens seek President's help

Student leader Atikur Rahman Admitted To Hospital, Kin Say Condition Serious, Online Petition Seeks President’s Intervention.

An online petition titled ‘Atikur Rahman – another Stan Swamy in the making!’ addressed to the President of India Draupadi Murmu has been started which voices distress regarding his deteriorating health condition. The petition believes that Rahman is “falsely implicated” and appeals to the president to facilitate bail for medical treatment.

Human rights group NCHRO also warned about his deteriorating health. “We witnessed the passing away of Father Stan Swamy in custody. Now, Atikur Rahman, a student leader suffering from a serious heart condition and facing negligence even in the midst of a life-threatening disease, reveals the failure of our democratic society as well as the rule of law,” said the NCHRO in a statement, demanding his immediate release.

Here is the online petition requesting his release.  Do click and sign and help him get his release, another Stan Swamy in the making should not lose his life for attempting to cover the story for the Hathras victim.


Medical Neglect has Allegedly Led to His Serious Condition

‘Atikur Rahman’s left side is paralyzed say his relatives.  The activist was arrested in the Hathras case in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 along with journalist Siddique Kappan and two others when they had gone to Hathras to report on the case.

Apparently, the doctors had referred Atikur Rahman to the neurology department after his condition deteriorated for further treatment but he was sent back to jail instead.

“For the past 10 months, Atik has not received any treatment for his condition or had access to the permanent medications that he has been consuming since childhood,” Atik’s brother Mateen told The Cognate.

Lawyers had moved a plea seeking 60 days parole for him in June to get his surgery at AIIMS but it was rejected by a Mathura court.

“We filed an application multiple times before Mathura ADJ for proper medical treatment. But they were so far rejected,” his lawyer Saifan Shaikh told The Cognate.

“We have approached the Allahabad High Court and the matter is yet to be listed. But his condition has worsened. He’s at the jail hospital. The medical facilities there are not adequate for his condition, he is not treated for heart, he is given just pain killers,” he says.

Atikur has become “partially paralyzed” and “highly disoriented”, his family and lawyer have claimed. Under arrest since October 2020, Atikur Rahman is a heart patient and underwent heart surgery in November last year.  He is presently admitted to Lucknow’s King George’s Medical University (KGMU) hospital. “He can’t move his left side, and he is even struggling to recognize me. He sometimes remembers who I am but then soon forgets again. It’s a very scary situation,” his wife Sanjida Rahman told The Quint.

Since 2002, Rahman has been suffering from a heart ailment called aortic regurgitation, in which the heart’s aortic valve does not close tightly. In November 2021, after an urgent plea was moved by Rahman’s family in the Allahabad High Court, he was taken for heart surgery in AIIMS, Delhi. However, he hasn’t been given proper post-surgery care in the jail due to which his condition has worsened, the family alleges.

Just a few days prior to his arrest, Rahman’s family had managed to complete saving the money required to meet the cost of his heart surgery scheduled for November.

Lodged in the Mathura jail, Rahman’s health kept deteriorating and in October 2021, a court ordered that Rahman be taken to AIIMS for his surgery. In November that year, Rahman’s family filed an urgent plea in the Allahabad high court asking for his shift to the hospital to be expedited. Finally, Rahman managed to get his surgery done that month.

“But since it’s a serious ailment, there needed to be regular follow-ups with the doctor, maintenance of hygiene in the jail, dietary restrictions that had to be met. None of this was taken care of,” says Shekhawat, Rahman’s father-in-law.

In response to the allegations, Ashish Tiwari, senior superintendent of the Lucknow district jail said that “allegations are the easiest thing to throw.”

“I don’t know the details of the case…the doctors in the jail look after the prisoners. But the prisoner had a history of illness from well before he was arrested,” he told The Quint.

Why Was Atikur Arrested in Uttar Pradesh?

Atikur Rahman was arrested along with Kappan, another activist Masood Ahmad, and their driver, Mohammed Alam on 5 October 2020 in Mathura when the group was on its way to Hathras to meet the family of a Dalit rape and murder victim. The four of them were arrested, and subsequently charged with the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) as well as IPC sections of sedition and promoting enmity between groups. Last month, on 23 August, the driver Mohammed Alam was granted bail after 22 months of imprisonment; the other accused are still in jail.

Rahman was an activist as well as a PhD student at Meerut’s Chaudhary Charan Singh University. He was active in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests.

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