Communalism

Health Workers, Activists Condemn Charges Against Hospital Owner in Delhi Riots Case

Naming Dr M.A. Anwar in the chargesheet is an "abuse of the law and its process at the hand of the police and appears to be communally motivated", they say.

New Delhi: A group of more than 200 medical professionals, public health professionals, health networks, women’s groups, former civil servants and concerned individuals have released a statement condemning charges filed against Dr M.A. Anwar in relation to the communal violence in North East Delhi in late February this year. Anwar owns the Al Hind Hospital in New Mustafabad, and had treated several patients who had suffered bullet wounds and skull fractures during the violence.

In three days of targeted communal violence, more than 53 people were killed and hundreds injured. In their statement, the group has said Anwar needs to be celebrated rather than punished. “Dr. Anwar and Al Hind played a significant humanitarian role in saving the lives of people who were affected through provision of urgently needed medical services in a situation fraught with violence and fear,” the statement reads.

The Delhi police chargesheet – which has been questioned in multiple reports for failing to identify and act against true perpetrators and instead targeting activists and others – claims that Anwar organised a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Farooqia Masjid, and this protest turned violent. The chargesheet is about the murder of Dilbar Negi, a 20-year-old waiter at the Anil Sweets shop in Shiv Vihar.

Also read: Delhi Violence: Man Looted by Rioters Now Being Threatened to Withdraw Complaint

Anwar had responded to the allegations by saying he is being targeted for having helped the riot victims. “I am aware that my name has been mentioned in the chargesheet. Neither did I organise nor did I participate in the protest because I was always busy. In fact, a few times I told the local police that commuting in the area is a problem due to the protest and it should be cleared out. My name has been dragged in this simply because I treated people in the hospital during the riots. I am being dragged in this case because I showed basic humanity. I am being targeted. These are false allegations,” he told the Indian Express.

The statement points out that Anwar has been widely celebrated for his prompt action and adherence to medical principles, including by the Delhi high court. He acted, the signatories say, despite the imminent threat to his own safety. According to the statement:

“His prompt action to help injured people during the riots was praised by many persons, including the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, and reports on the violence that recorded the role of Al Hind hospital and its owner, Dr. Anwar in helping victims of the  violence, irrespective of their religion or caste or class. Several medical teams working in the area during and in the aftermath of the violence, witnessed Dr. Anwar’s responsible, untiring response  as a medical professional,  providing healthcare in the most challenging circumstances in the midst of  targeted violence against the Muslim community  in that area at tremendous risk to his own life.”

The chargesheet against Anwar, the statement says, is part of a pattern of attacks against doctors who are working for the people. This pattern, they argue, is being seen during the COVID-19 pandemic too. Naming him in the chargesheet is an “abuse of the law and its process at the hand of the police and appears to be communally motivated”, they say.

Also read: As Family of Two Brothers Killed in Delhi Riots Await Justice, Police Point to WhatsApp Hate Group

“We urge the police to immediately remove Dr. Anwar’s name from the charge-sheet of FIR (39/20), Gokulpur Police Station, dated 28 February 2020, as these allegations are unwarranted, fallacious and defamatory. We demand that the police desist from harassment and intimidation and that no arrest be made on the basis of prejudiced and unwarranted allegations and investigation,” the statement says.

The complete statement, along with the full list of the signatories, is below.

§

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF DR. M.A. ANWAR, AL HIND HOSPITAL
DEMANDING REMOVAL OF HIS NAME AND ALL FALSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM FROM THE CHARGESHEET (FIR 39/20)

We, undersigned medical professionals, public health professionals, health networks, women’s groups and civil liberties alliances and networks, academics, former health secretaries, bureaucrats, lawyers, writers, film makers, and other concerned organizations and concerned individuals strongly condemn the malicious naming of Dr. M. A. Anwar in the charge-sheet of FIR 39/20, Gokulpuri Police Station, dated 28 February 2020. Dr. Anwar, the proprietor of Al Hind Hospital in New Mustafabad provided medical care to several people who were victims of the targeted violence in north east Delhi in late February 2020, which resulted in the death of more than 53 people, with hundreds of people injured.
Dr. Anwar and Al Hind played a significant humanitarian role in saving the lives of people who were affected through provision of urgently needed medical services in a situation fraught with violence and fear. Al Hind was one of the few hospitals, which provided treatment for hundreds of patients who were injured, some with grievous bullet injuries and fractures, some traumatised by the violence, etc. and rendered to each person a full measure of service and devotion to humanity and human dignity.
Dr. Anwar has been falsely mentioned in this charge-sheet alleging instigation of the local people against the government on the issue of CAA-NRC (Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens) which led to violence in the area.

We would like to assert that Dr. Anwar as a medical professional, followed the code of medical ethics, and treated every person who was injured in the riots and who approached his hospital with empathy and diligence. His prompt action to help injured people during the riots was praised by many persons, including the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, and reports on the violence that recorded the role of Al Hind hospital and its owner, Dr. Anwar in helping victims of the violence, irrespective of their religion or caste or class. Several medical teams working in the area during and in the aftermath of the violence, witnessed Dr. Anwar’s responsible, untiring response as a medical professional, providing healthcare in the most challenging circumstances in the midst of targeted violence against the Muslim community in that area at tremendous risk to his own life. Conscientious medical professionals in several parts of the world believe that resistance to oppression and violence go hand in hand with provision of ethical healthcare is irrespective of the context, caste, religion or the background of the patient.

Thus, it is shocking that a person, who has saved the lives of many through his prompt and timely actions, has now been falsely referred to in the charge-sheet alleging instigation!
Apart from a violation of his Constitutional and democratic rights as a citizen of this country, the fallacious references toDr. Anwar in the charge-sheet is a frontal attack on a doctor, an emerging pattern evident from the attacks on other doctors committed to the cause of the people during the ongoing COVID pandemic, which has become the wont of the State. We strongly condemn the targeting and harassment of Dr. Anwar and this is undoubtedly a vindictive attempt at targeting a medical professional despite his incontrovertible humanitarian work. The naming of Dr. Anwar in the charge-sheet indicates the abuse of the law and its process at the hand of the police and appears to be communally motivated. This is an absolute violation of the right to life and liberty, equality, freedom of speech and expression, and to dissent as a citizen.

The state authorities must instead acknowledge the evidence of the large-scale physical and psychological trauma caused to residents as a consequence of the targeted violence and the care and support extended by the hospital and the commitment of Dr. Anwar.

We urge the police to immediately remove Dr. Anwar’s name from the charge-sheet of FIR (39/20), Gokulpur Police Station, dated 28 February 2020, as these allegations are unwarranted, fallacious and defamatory. We demand that the police desist from harassment and intimidation and that no arrest be made on the basis of prejudiced and unwarranted allegations and investigation.

Endorsed by:
1. Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA)
2. Medico Friend Circle (MFC)
3. All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN)
4. Right to Food Campaign (RTFC)
5. National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM)
6. New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
7. National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW)
8. People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL)
9. Majdoor Kissan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS)
10. National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights (NAMHHR)
11. K. Sujatha Rao, IAS (Retd.) Former Union Health Secretary.
12. Sundar Burra, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, Member, Constitutional Conduct Group
13. Keshav Desiraju, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary to Government of India, Dept. of Health & Family Welfare, Dept. of Consumer Affairs.
14. N. C. Saxena, IAS (Retd), Former Secretary, Planning Commission
15. Kamal Kant Jaswal, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary to the Govt. of India, Department of Information Technology ,Constitutional Conduct Group.
16. Julio Ribeiro, IPS (Retd.), Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
17. Sharad Behar, IAS(Retd.), Former Chief Secretary, Madhya Pradesh
18. Niranjan Pant, (Retd.) Dy Comptroller and Auditor General of India
19. Amitabha Pande, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary Inter State Council, Government of India.
20. Deb Mukharji (Retd.) Indian Foreign Service. Former ambassador to Nepal.
21. Salahuddin Ahmad, IAS (Retd.), Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
22. ShafiAlam, IPS (Retd.), Former Director General, National Crime Records Bureau, GoI
23. G. Balachandhran, IAS (Retd.), Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
24. Nitin Desai, IES (Retd.), Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI
25. Gopalan Balagopal, IAS (Retd.), Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
26. Rachel Chatterjee, IAS (Retd.), Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
27. K. P. Fabian, IFS (Retd.), Former Ambassador to Italy
28. Gourisankar Ghosh, IAS (Retd.), Former Mission Director, National Drinking Water Mission, GoI
29. Suresh K. Goel, IFS (Retd.), Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
30. S.K. Guha, IAS (Retd.), Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI
31. Rahul Khullar, IAS (Retd.), Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
32. Arun Kumar, IAS (Retd.), Former Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, GoI
33. P.K. Lahiri, IAS (Retd.), Former Executive Director, Asian Development Bank
34. Sonalini Mirchandani, IFS (Resigned), GoI
35. Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, IFS (Retd.), Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
36. Avinash Mohananey, IPS (Retd.), Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
37. Alok Perti, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI
A. Selvaraj, IRS (Retd.), Former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chennai, GoI
38. Navrekha Sharma, IFS (Retd.), Former Ambassador to Indonesia
39. Vappala Balachandran, IPS(Retd.), Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Author and Columnist
40. Sushil Dubey, Former Ambassador to Sweden
41. Vibha Puri Das, (Retd.), Secretary, GOI, Ministry of Tribal Affairs
42. G. Sankaran, Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (control) Appellate Tribunal
43. C. Balakrishnan, (Retd.) Secretary, Coal, Govt of India.
44. K. John Koshy,IAS (Retd.), Former Chief Information Commissioner, West Bengal
45. N.Nagalsamy IA&AS (Retd.), Former Principal Accountant General of Tamil Nadu and Kerala
46. P. R. Dasgupta, IAS, (Retd.), Former Chairman, FCI and member of Constitutional Conduct Group.
47. Sudhir Kumar, IAS (Retd.), Former Member, Central Administrative Tribunal
48. Hindal Tyabji, IASRetd.), Chairman of the J&K Public Service Commission 1998-2003
49. Siraj Hussain, IAS (Retd.), Ex Union Secretary, Agriculture, Govt of India, New Delhi.
50. Madhu Bhaduri
51. Kalyani Chaudhuri,(Retd.), Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of West Bengal, Member of Constitutional Conduct Group
52. Ashok Kumar Sharma, IFS (Retd.)
53. Meena Gupta, IAS (Retd.), Formerly Secretary to GOI in the Ministry of Environment and Forests
54. Dr. Raju Sharma, IAS, (Retd.)
55. V. P. Raja, IAS. Retd Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) Member
56. Devasahayam MG
57. Aruna Roy, MKSS
58. PrateepLahiri
59. Sumantra Guha
60. N. K. Raghupathy, Constitutional Conduct Group
61. Wajahat Habibullah, Former Chairman National Commission for Minorities
62. Harsh Mander, Aman Biradari
63. Dr. T.Sundararaman, Peoples Health Movement
64. Dr. Mira Shiva (Public Health Physician)
65. Dr. Yogesh Jain, Chhattisgarh
66. Amar Jesani, Indian Journal for Medical Ethics
67. Dr.Syeda Hameed, Delhi
68. Sarojini N, Public Health Practitioner, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan
69. Deepa V, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Delhi
70. Veena Johari, Mumbai
71. Inayat Kakar, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Punjab
72. Dr. Vandana Prasad, Public Health Professional
73. Dr. Anant Phadke, Pune
74. S. Srinivasan, LOCOST
75. Dr.Veena Shatrugna, Medical Scientist (Retd.)
76. Dr.Priyadarsh Ture, Co-Convenor, Medico Friend Circle
77. Dr. Ravi Narayan, Bangalore
78. Dr.Nidhin Cyril, Co-Convenor, Medico Friend Circle
79. Dr.Vikas Bajpai, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU
80. Dr. Narendra Gupta
81. Dr. Shakeel, CHARM, Patna
82. Dr. Sunita Baskar Abraham, Public Health Physician, Bangalore
83. Dr. Aparna Hegde, Founder, ARMMAN; Assoc Prof (Hon), Urogynecology, Cama Hospital, Mumbai and Founder, Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Health, New Delhi
84. Dr.SonaliVaid, Public Health Doctor, New Delhi
85. Dr. Priyank Jain
86. Prabir KC, Public Health Consultant, Kolkata
87. Dr.Vasundhara Rangaswamy, Physician and microbiologist, Independent
88. Nandini Sundar, Sociologist
89. Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist, Delhi
90. Kavita Srivastava, Rajasthan State President, PUCL
91. Annie Raja, NFIW
92. SuroorMander, Karwan e Mohabbat
93. Ravi Kiran Jain, President, PUCL
94. V. Suresh, General Secretary, PUCL
95. Brinelle Dsouza, TISS, JSA-MUMBAI, Justice Coalition of Religious -Maharashtra & Goa
96. Prof. Mohan Rao, Former Professor, JNU
97. Nandita Narain, Delhi University
98. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Delhi
99. Kalyani Menon-Sen, Feminist Learning Partnerships
100. Navsharan Singh, Aman Biradari
101. Natasha Badhwar,Karwan e Mohabbat
102. Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party (India)
103. Dr. John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council [2004-2014], President, All India Catholic Union [2004-2008]
104. Dr.Sagari Ramdas, Food Sovereignty Alliance
105. Asha Kilaru, Bangalore Birth Network
106. Vineeta Bal, Pune
107. Dr. Hafiz Muhammed K
108. Dr.Saima Furqan, Independent Doctor
109. Rita Manchanda, Delhi
110. Chayanika Shah, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai
111. Dr. T. K. Sundari Ravindran, Retired Professor, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology
112. Jashodhara Dasgupta, Independent Researcher, New Delhi
113. Pamela Philipose, Journalist, New Delhi
114. Sheba Chhachhi, New Delhi
115. Vani Subramanian, Independent Film Maker, Delhi
116. Devika Singh, Child Rights Worker
117. Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, Public health doctor
118. R.Srivats
119. Nikhil Dey, MKSS
120. Dr. Mohit P. Gandhi, Ph.D. Student, JNU
121. Dr.Satendra Singh (Individual Capacity), University College of Medical Sciences & GTB Hospital, Delhi
122. Ramani Atkuri, Public Health professional, Bhopal
123. Arundhati Dhuru, NAPM
124. Bittu K. R., Associate Professor of Biology and Psychology, Ashoka University; Transfeminist, WSS
125. AkhilaVasan, Karnataka JanaarogyaChaluvali
126. DiptaBhog,Women’s right Activist
127. Sneha Rajaram, Writer, Bangalore Lata Singh, JNU
128. Manisha Gupte, Gender and Health Rights Activist
129. Ravi Duggal, Independent Researcher and Activist
130. SuhasKolhekar, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM)
131. Sulakshana Nandi, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Chhattisgarh
132. Dr.Sunil Kaul
133. Mishika Singh, Lawyers for Detainees
134. Lawyers For Detainees
135. Dr. Karishma Thariani
136. Karan Seth, Lawyers for Detainees
137. Karen Gabriel, St Stephen’s College, Delhi University
138. Kiran Kumbhar, Harvard University
139. Malini Ghose, New Delhi
140. Meera Sanghamitra, NAPM
141. Mr. ShadanFarasat, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
142. Kai Friese, Journalist
143. Shankar Singh, MKSS
144. AvijitDutt, Actor
145. AbhaBhaiya
146. Deepika Joshi, Researcher, Chhattisgarh
147. Indranil Mukhopadhyay Radha Holla Bhar
148. Dimple Oberoi Vahali, Independent Activist
149. Dipa Sinha, RTFC
150. Ayesha, RTFC
151. Ranjan De, Film Maker, Delhi
152. Jagdish Patel, Gujarat
153. Abhiti Gupta, Delhi
154. Gooru Murthy, SOCHARA
155. Gouranga Mohapatra, JSA/BGVS, ODISHA
156. Poonam Kaushik, PragatisheelMahilaSangathan Delhi
157. Nachiket Udupa, Concerned Individual
158. Vikash Prakash, Co-ordinator, Ekjut
159. TejaswiChhatwal, JNU
160. Anuradha Kapoor, Feminist Activist
161. ArunaBurte, Individual, Pune, Maharashtra
162. Padma Deosthali, Mumbai
163. Sunita Sheel, Pune
164. Shruti Arora
165. Priyanka, Concerned citizen
166. Chahna Gupta, Concerned citizen
167. Aditya Shrivastava, Right to Food Campaign
168. Bebaak Collective
169. Dolphy Dsouza, Police Reforms Watch
170. John Dsouza, PUCL
171. Lara Jesani, PUCL
172. Bilal Khan, GharBacahoGharBanaoAndolan
173. Sneha Makkad, Delhi
174. Binju Abraham
175. Ahmad Matin Khan, Emergency Medicine Consultant
176. CA, Karim Khan
177. Sabah Khan, PUCL
178. Campaign Against Hate Speech
179. Dr. Salma Saifi, Homoeopathic panacea
180. Dr. Uma Bhrugubanda, Academic, Hyderabad
181. Dr. Vishwanath Azad, Convenor, Jharkhand SarvodayMitra Mandal
182. FORWARD TRUST, Bangalore
183. Health For All Campaign
184. Indira C, Delhi
185. Kanchan Yadav, concerned citizen
186. NaavuBharatiyatu Karnataka
187. Neelanjana Das, JSA Chhattisgarh
188. Nisha Biswas, Kolkata
189. Roopa Rawat, Nurse
190. Dr. Savitri D., Co-convenor, MFC
191. Rupsa Mallik, New Delhi
192. SAHELI, Delhi
193. Prabha N, New Delhi
194. Prasanna Saligram –public health researcher, JSA Karnataka
195. Rohini Kandhari, public health researcher
196. Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
197. Sayan Das from CSMCH, JNU
198. Richa Chintan, Delhi
199. Garima Jain, Concerned citizen
200. Susheela Singh, Delhi
201. Shraddha Chickerur, University of Hyderabad
202. BijayalaxmiRautaray, Bhubaneswar,Odisha
203. Drishti Chawla, Concerned citizen
204. Shreya Munoth, Advocate, Delhi
205. Radhika Khajuria, Gender & Health Rights Activist, New Delhi
206. Aparna
207. Snehal Shah, Independent Researcher, Delhi
208. Surbhi Shrivastava
209. Sangeeta Chatterji
210. Dr.BindhulakshmiPattadath, Associate Professor, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai
211. Vijayakumar S., Karnataka JanaarogyaChaluvali
212. Women against Sexual Violence & State Repression (WSS)
213. Anupama Potluri, Hyderabad