Lucknow, September 07, 2022 (PPI-OT):Atiq-ur-Rehman, the student leader who was arrested along with Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan in October 2020 and was under treatment at a hospital in Lucknow since August 29 after his health deteriorated, was arbitrarily sent back to Lucknow jail despite having critical health issues. Atiq’s lawyer Saifan Shaikh said the condition of his client is still serious, yet he is being shifted to jail from the hospital.

Last evening after diagnosis, cardiac specialists at the Lucknow hospital had denied that the 28-year-old Atiq has any heart problems. However, they said, “He is suffering from some neurological issues, but we don’t have proper facility to treat him here. Moreover, no bed is available for him in the existing neuron ward. Hence, we discharged him.”

Jail authorities on the other hand say they will shift him to an appropriate hospital in two days after getting an advice from the jail hospital doctor. But they are silent on the immediate medical attention the patient needs in view of his fast deteriorating condition.

Speaking to media, Atiq’s lawyer said, “I don’t know why the jail administration is doing this. One part of his body is not working, he needs immediate medical treatment. The jail authorities say after getting advice from jail hospital doctor, they would shift him to an appropriate hospital in two days. King George’s Medical University (KGMU) Hospital is a multispecialty hospital, why they are not admitting him to the neuron department of the health facility here?” He informed that the family is going to move the Lucknow High Court with a plea to take cognizance of the matter.

Atiq’s wife, Sanjeeda, said they want his release at any cost. She said, “He cannot even get up to drink water on his own. At this stage, sending him to jail will further push him into worse health condition.” She further said, “Atiq is unable even to recognise anyone, I want my voice to reach the people, the court should hear my voice, they should release him. We will get him better treatment ourselves.”

Meanwhile, protests were held at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi, demanding immediate release of Atiq-ur-Rehman. Students protesting against his prolonged incarceration were demanding that keeping in mind the seriousness of Atiq’s health, he should be immediately released.

Atiq, a resident of Muzaffarpur district and a research scholar in library sciences at Choudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut, along with Siddique Kappan, Masood Ahmed, a master’s student at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia and Muhammad Alam, taxi driver while on way to Hathras where a Dalit woman was raped and murdered by four upper-caste men.

The FIR filed against them on 5 October 2020, a day after their arrest, booked them under various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Indian Penal Code, and Information Technology Act. The sections invoked against them included sedition.

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