Among the three people who suffered gunshot injuries during the December 19 protest against the new citizenship law in Lucknow are two teenaged students recuperating at a hospital here. While both were shot in the abdomen, neither of the two — 15-year-old Mohammad Jeelani and 17-year-old Mohammad Shameem — have been identified by police as injured protesters.
The third person succumbed to his injuries a day after the violence.
“On Friday afternoon, I was returning home at Chaupatiyan locality from my aunt’s house in Khadra in an e-rickshaw. I was not aware of the protests. All of a sudden, there was chaos and people started throwing stones and bricks. The e-rickshaw driver asked me to get down and left. I tried to hide in a lane, but suddenly a bullet hit me. I did not see who fired the bullet. I fell unconscious and woke up here at KGMU hospital,” Jeelani, a student of Class VII, said.
His father, Mohammad Naeem (38), who drives a mini-truck, wants the government to pay for his son’s medical expenses, saying they are in no position to afford it. “The doctors keep prescribing tests and medicines. We have been paying for these expenses from our pocket,” said Naeem, who has already spent Rs 35,000 on his son’s treatment. “Police visited on Tuesday and recorded the statement of my son. They are discriminating against my son. If a person from the other community had been shot, the government would have given compensation,” Naeem added.
On the adjoining bed, Shameem, a student of Class X at a government school, is recovering after being operated for a gunshot wound in his stomach. According to him, he was going to his sister’s place in Hussainabad area of the city after getting a cooking cylinder refilled at Muftiganj when he found himself in the middle of the Friday’s clash.
“I was going to my sister’s place in Hussainabad area when the stone-pelting began. I tried to hide in a lane but was shot in the stomach. I managed to reach home and told my mother that I had been shot at. After that, I don’t remember what happened. I woke up a few days later in the hospital bed,” said Shameem, who is barely able to speak due to the pain.
His father used to ply an auto-rickshaw before he met with an accident six years ago. “We don’t have money to get him treated,” said Shameem’s sister Sama, who is studying in Class XII. He has two more brothers and the family lives in a two-room house on a rent of Rs 2,500 per month.
“We have received no call or assurance from anyone in the government or administration. My brother is not a rioter, then why should he not get compensation for what happened to him?” Sama said.
Meanwhile, Station House Officer of Thakurganj Police Station, Pramod Kumar Mishra, said that the two boys have not been found involved in the rioting that took place in Hussainabad area of the city on Friday.
“They were present when the situation turned violent. And yesterday (Tuesday), when we took their statements, they told us that they were shot from behind. So far in our investigation, we have not found any role of these two boys in the protest during the investigation,” said Mishra.
The doctors at the KGMU said that both Jeelani and Shameen were doing well after they were operated upon for their gunshot wounds. “The plan is to discharge them tomorrow. We will conduct a check-up and then decide,” Dr Sameer Mishra of the KGMU Trauma Centre said.
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