Kashmir: Minister in guise forced to leave Hospital amid freedom slogans

Srinagar: Much ‘embarrassment’ to the Health Minister for Jammu and Kashmir, agitated patients and attendants amid pro-freedom slogans forced him to leave from the Srinagar hospital after the Minister arrived there to inquire about the condition of pellet victims.

Hospital sources told news agency CNS that the Minister for Health Bali Bhagat arrived at SMHS Hospital during morning hours. They said that some of the officials accompanying the Minister introduced him as Director Health Services Kashmir. “The Minister talked in Kashmir to some of the patients while some attendants who took him as Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Salim-ur-Rehman complained that government move to evict volunteers from the hospital was anti-people,” said eyewitnesses.

They added that as patients and attendants came to know about his identity they lost their cool and tried to corner the Minister, however the security guards encircled him and took him out from the hospital. The agitated attendants raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans inside the hospital ward.

“The Minister didn’t utter a word and fled from the hospital under security cover,” the witnesses said.

Bhagat’s visit was the first to the hospital since the ongoing uprising began almost three months ago after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.

Terming the reports baseless, Minister for Health Bali Bhagat told CNS that there was no need to conceal his identity. “I interacted with patients, talked to the Principal Government Medical College and the Medical Superintendent, directed them to take care of the patients especially pellet victims. I was satisfied that some the pellet victims have recovered due to efforts of the doctors,” the Minister said adding that there were some trouble mongers present in the hospital who tried to create mess.

Meanwhile a government handout said that Minister for Health and Medical Education, Bali Bhagat, on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital and reviewed the facilities being provided to the patients.

The Minister inspected various wards like Emergency, OPD, Surgical units, and Ophthalmology section and interacted with the patients and doctors to enquire about quality of services available in the Hospital.

During his visit, the Minister also interacted with the eye injury patients to enquire about their present condition and medical facilities being provided to them. Mr. Bhagat assured them that the Government is committed to provide quality medical facilities to them and further arrangements, if required, will be made for their advanced treatment.

The Health Minister appreciated doctors for their commendable service they rendered during the unrest and directed the concerned that all facilities at the hospital should be utilized at their optimum for the benefit of patients.  Principal GMC, Superintendent SMHS Hospital and other doctors accompanied the Minister during his visit.  (CNS)

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