The massive presence of police and MIM supporters unnerves the patients at Gandhi Hospital, which otherwise brims with hectic activity

While the day-long siege of Gandhi Hospital by hundreds of security personnel crippled almost all the major health services on Tuesday, the presence of a huge posse of police personnel and MIM supporters, who turned up in large numbers, during the medical check-up of their leader Akbaruddin Owaisi infuriated in-patients, outpatients and their attendants.

Hasty exit

Close to 1,500 patients, who had come to the OP ward, had to hastily exit the hospital premises, as police personnel, without any prior warning or notice, descended on the premises. Nearly 200 elective surgeries, mostly in dental, general surgery, ophthalmology, gynaecology and laboratory tests, scheduled for Tuesday, were postponed because of the day-long drama.

The ordeal of patients started at around 10 a.m. when batches of armed police personnel swooped down and immediately took control of the exit and entry points of the hospital. The barricades and the very presence of police personnel, dressed in riot gear, came as a shock to the patients and their attendants.

“They did not allow anybody inside. Instead of listening to us, the policemen pushed us out. If we argued, they threatened us with lathis. The whole campus resembled a police camp. Can’t this situation be handled in a better way?” asked T. Prakash Rao, a resident Nagole, who came with his wife at the dental OP wing.

Utter confusion prevailed, as supporters and curious onlookers thronged the OP wing, which is next to the casualty ward in which Mr. Owaisi was admitted. It was confusion worst confounded when the scanning machine, reportedly developed snag further delaying the investigations of Mr. Owaisi.

Meanwhile, the throng of MIM supporters, media vehicles, police and onlookers led to a gridlock on the Musheerabad Road with the traffic jam lasting for over an hour, as enthusiastic party supporters kept flocking to the hospital. A large number of patients with appointments for CT and MRI scans, X-Ray and other laboratory tests were the worst sufferers. “I waited for three weeks for my CT appointment. The police did not allow me inside. The hospital authorities did not give any assurance that my appointment will be valid for Wednesday,” complained Jahangir, a resident of Hayathnagar.

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