Doctors suggest hospital care for six – Two ambulances on standby

The Telegraph

Gorubathan, Feb. 4: Health officials are worried over the deteriorating condition of the six of the 22 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters, who have been on an indefinite hunger strike here since January 29.

Doctors attending on the protesters said the six, including two women, would require immediate hospitalisation, but none of them were willing to take any medical help. Of the 22 protesters, 11 are from the hills, 10 are Adivasis from the Dooars and a Bengali.

“They are suffering from complications arising out of dehydration and if they continue to refuse treatment, their vital organs will start shutting down one by one,” said E. Lyngdoh, an assistant sub-divisional medical officer of health.

The six are part of the 17-member Morcha group who has been on fast since the first day of the hunger strike. Five more had joined the strike on February 1.

“The condition of the 11 members of the first group, too, is serious. All of them have stopped passing urine and their blood pressure is coming down rapidly,” said D. Biswas, the block medical officer of health of Gorubathan, around 70km from Kalimpong.

Biswas and his team have been attending to the protesters round-the-clock. A team of doctors from the Kalimpong subdivisional hospital attended on them today.

“Naresh Rai’s condition is being complicated by his blurring vision,” said Lyngdoh. The other five members are Bimla Biswakarma, Sandhya Pradhan, Miten Jhora, Rakesh Oriya and Umesh Singh.

The medical team has two ambulances at their disposal to ferry patients to the Kalimpong hospital in case of emergency. They said they would need two more ambulances on standby given the condition of those on fast. “The health centre here is not equipped to treat these patients as and when the need arises. We will have to take them to hospitals in Kalimpong or Siliguri,” said a doctor.

Moti Prasad, one of the Morcha central committee members present at Gorubathan, said he was worried about the condition of those on hunger strike. However, the course of action to be taken if their condition deteriorates further, will depend on the party leadership, he said. “Let us see what the outcome of the talks in Calcutta is today. It all depends on the decision of our president,” Prasad said.

The sombre atmosphere around the fast platform in front of the police station had extended to the road that runs in front of it. Members of the Gorkhaland Personnel were standing around keeping a watch.

In the morning, a group of about 300 young men and women came down from Sukhiapokhri, 145km from here, and marched around the town shouting pro-Gorkhaland slogans. Some of them even made speeches near the fast site.

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