On the 188th day of activist Surat Singh Khalsa’s hunger strike, authorities started feeding him intravenous fluids as his health deteriorated further after he refused to take even water despite repeated efforts by the Punjab administration.
A board of three doctors, constituted to look after the health of Khalsa, had decided to take action after reviewing his health condition. Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal confirmed the same and said, “Fluids have been started on Khalsa after medical assessment. As Khalsa was not taking anything orally fluids had to be started.”
Earlier members of many Sikh organizations who had come to meet Khalsa, including his family members, were turned away from his room on Wednesday afternoon by the officials.
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“We apprehend that the administration has plans to force-feed him today that’s why it has disallowed family members and others to meet him,” said HS Dhami from Dal Khalsa, who was also turned back today afternoon.
Later in the noon, deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, SSP Jagraon Ravcharan Singh Brar and civil surgeon Dr Renu Chatwal had met Khalsa to convince him to take medical treatment. However all talks failed.
After talks failed and Khalsa refused treatment, entry to his room was restricted. Khalsa’s daughter Sarvrinder Kaur, son Ravinderjit Singh Gogi and few immediate sewadaars who were inside the room since yesterday, were told to leave and were informed that no one can meet Khalsa without seeking permission from officials.
DC Rajat Aggarwal said,”Entry of visitors has been restricted on medical grounds as he is already very weak and too many visitors can further deteriorate his health. We have serious concern about his health. Otherwise it is not a complete ban for everyone.”
Sarvrinder Kaur told The Indian Express that “only the hospital attendant is inside the room and none of us have been allowed meet him. ”
While DC Rajat said that it is a restricted entry, Dal Khalsa narrated a different story.
“We expressed our desire to meet the ailing Bapu Surat Singh but the senior police officer present over there refused us point blank,” said Dal Khalsa president Dhami. Informing the media, he said the SSP told us that nobody is allowed to meet him (Bapu) and this decision has been taken at highest level.
Dal Khalsa leaders said the attitude and behaviour of the state government and the police towards them was crystal clear: either pursue Bapu to end the fast or remain in jail. “The manner in which the police has cracked down, conducted midnight raids on political activists shows that there was no room for dissent over here,” said Dhami.