Claims he was given blood transfusion twice after crossing over to Pakistan

Jitendra Arjunwar from Madhya Pradesh, who is in the Hyderabad juvenile offenders’ jail here, suffers from sickle cell anaemia and could possibly need blood transfusion, according to the medical officer of the jail, Dr. Yasir Bhutto.

In a statement, Arjunwar, who gave his age as 16, has said that after he crossed over to Pakistan, he was given blood transfusion twice in 45 days by the “agencies” that picked him up.

Though Arjunwar reportedly said he was blindfolded and taken to Hyderabad and Karachi, this could not be independently confirmed. He had also stated that while in India he went to Mumbai for blood transfusion.

Dr. Bhutto told The Hindu on the phone that the youth suffered from acute anaemia, which showed up in routine tests. Further tests were done and they confirmed that he had sickle cell anaemia.

However, jail authorities said there was no facility to conduct blood transfusion and medical opinion was being sought in this regard.

Dr. Bhutto said Arjunwar could be in his early 20s and he looked younger probably because of his illness.

The jail authorities said medicines for his general health had been prescribed and he was better.

The Umarkot district police had said Pakistan Rangers caught the youth at Cheetah post inside the Pakistan side of the border on August 12 and handed him over to the Khokrapar police station on August 15. He was charged with trespass under the Foreigners act and awaits trial in the juvenile offenders section.

Kashif Bajir, head of the Sindh unit of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), who tried to visit Arjunwar, is being denied permission. The youth was not allowed to meet anyone, he said.

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