A tense atmosphere prevails in the Government Nizamia General Hospital at Charminar every time there are reports of trouble breaking out. The hospital is right opposite the Mecca Masjid and the road stretch in between the two historic structures converts into a battlefield on any sensitive day.
Scores of violent confrontations between the police and protestors have been reported in the hundred meter stretch of road in the last few decades. The hospital stands testimony to incidents of police firing bullets or lobbing teargas shells to quell violent protests.
However, every time some trouble is reported, the first to get affected are the scores of patients admitted here. The patients are deeply traumatised due to the disturbances.
“I feel anxious and afraid when I hear the sound of firing and screech of people,” says Syed Arif, (50) a paralytic patient from Gulbarga referring to the November 16 disturbance. His wife Raheemunnisa said they had faced a lot of problem in arranging food during the pre-Diwali restrictions in the area.
Such problems are faced by almost all the patients admitted in this 220-bedded hospital. About 150 patients are admitted in the hospital at any point of time. The hospital also has facilities for maternity care.
Anjaneyulu, also a paralysis patient, was admitted about 20 days ago. His first brush with the disturbances was on the day when widespread trouble was reported over the arrest of Majlis legislators.
“After coming to know about the trouble I have asked my children to stay away on sensitive days,” Vijay Lakshmi, wife of Ajnaneyulu says.
According to the hospital authorities enough care is taken to prevent outsiders from entering into the premises.
“Hospital staff also faced problems due to the trouble and restriction. However we have got used to it,” says Dr. Mohammed Rafi Ahmed, Superintendant of the hospital.
Hospital employees say on some occasions teargas shells had also landed in the compound and the most affected are the people staying in paying rooms facing the main road.