‘My husband was shot at while returning from work’

Shafeeq from Firozabad is battling for life at Safdarjung Hospital; his wife says he never took part in protests

December 25, 2019 01:33 am | Updated 01:33 am IST - NEW DELHI

Mohammed Shafeeq, 40, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad, lay unconscious on a bed at Safdarjung Hospital where he has been admitted with a gunshot wound in his head. His family said Mr. Shafeeq was returning home from work when he was shot at by the police during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Firozabad on December 20.

He was initially admitted to a hospital in Agra but was referred to the Capital’s Safdarjung Hospital on Monday morning.

Recalling the day’s events, Mr. Shafeeq’s wife Rani, 35, standing by his side in the Neurology Ward on the fifth floor, said he was walking back home when the bullet hit him on the back of his head.

She said Mr. Shafeeq works as a mechanic in a workshop near the railway station. He generally takes a shared auto-rickshaw from work which drops him at a junction near their house in Rasulpur. From there he walks home.

“He had just turned his face when a bullet hit him and he fell on the road. My brother-in-law saw it happen. He even shouted at my husband that bullets were being fired in his direction but it was a matter of a second,” she said.

Ms. Rani said the situation on December 20 was tense in Rasulpur as a few vehicles had been torched, but things had started to improve around 4 p.m. when Mr. Shafeeq was returning. “My husband had not participated in any of the protests which have been happening for the past few days. In fact, during prayers at the mosque, Imam Saab had repeatedly announced against indulging in any kind of violence or saying anything untoward,” she said. Mr. Shafeeq did not take his cellphone to work that day because of which his wife couldn’t alert him about the situation near their house.

Treatment concerns

For the next two days, Mr. Shafeeq was battling for life at a hospital in Agra. When his condition did not improve, he was brought to Safdarjung Hospital on December 23. Ms. Rani said she is disappointed with the way her husband is getting treatment. “He was not given a bed till Tuesday afternoon. They [hospital staff] have not even cleaned the blood on his face and ears,” she said.

Mr. Shafeeq is the sole breadwinner in his family, taking care of his wife and their daughter, a Class IX student at a government school. His father passed away a few years ago and his mother is not in good mental health.

“He has been unconscious since Friday. We have been told that there is only 1% chance of his survival. What will we do?” asked Ms. Rani.

Another victim, identified as Mukeem, 20, was also referred to Safdarjung Hospital along with Mr. Shafeeq. Mukeem, who was also shot at during the protests in Firozabad, succumbed to his injuries late Monday night. His body lay in the mortuary, awaiting post-mortem. His father was on his way to Delhi, Mr. Shafeeq’s family said.

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