Delhi court likely to consider Bhim Army chief Azad's plea for medical treatment today

Delhi court may consider jailed Bhim Army chief's plea for treatment
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad

New Delhi: A court in New Delhi is likely to take up Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad's plea seeking a direction to the jail authorities to provide him treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital on Tuesday.

Chandrashekhar Azad, who was arrested in connection with violence in old Delhi's Daryaganj area, claimed in the application that he was suffering from polycythemia, a disease of blood thickness, and "requires continuous checkup from the doctors concerned from AIIMS, who are supervising his treatment for a long time".

If the treatment was not provided urgently to Azad, it might lead to cardiac arrest, the application moved through advocate Mehmood Pracha said.

The plea sought a direction to the jail authorities or the Delhi government to provide medical treatment to Azad. The Bhim Army chief was sent to judicial custody on December 21 by a Delhi court.

The Bhim Army claimed on Saturday that Azad was unwell and needed immediate medical care.

Rejecting the claim, a senior jail official said Azad was "absolutely fine" and no such issue had come to their notice during routine medical check-ups by the official jail doctor.

Azad's personal doctor Harjeet Singh Bhatti claimed that the Bhim Army chief suffers from a disease which requires biweekly phlebotomy, a "procedure to remove extra red blood cells from the blood to treat certain blood disorders".

Bhim Army spokesperson Kush Ambedkarwadi, who had met the jailed chief on Friday, said Azad has been undergoing treatment for the disease for the past one-and-a-half years and that he had told authorities at the Tihar Jail, where he is currently lodged, about it.

The last session of phlebotomy was scheduled a week ago. Azad has been complaining of headache, dizziness, pain in abdomen, Bhatti claimed.

"If Azad doesn't get immediate medical care, his blood might get thicker and he may suffer a cardiac arrest. The jail authorities are not allowing him to visit AIIMS," he said.

"This is inhuman and clear violation of human rights. I request Delhi Police and (Home Minister) Amit Shah to get him admitted to AIIMS," he posted on Twitter.

The jail authorities, however, said Azad was "absolutely fine" and medical assistance will be provided to him if the need arises.

Azad's outfit had organised a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the amended Citizenship Act last week, despite not having police permission.

The marching protesters were stopped by police and paramilitary personnel near Delhi Gate, after which they turned violent and set a car on fire and damaged a few other vehicles. The police resorted to baton-charge and used a water cannon to control the situation.

According to the amended law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 after facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but will be given Indian citizenship.

(With PTI inputs)