On Wednesday, as Surat Singh Khalsa’s hunger strike entered the 189th day, his health deteriorated further as he refused to consume water despite repeated requests from the Ludhiana Civil Hospital administration.
The 84-year-old activist has been on a hunger strike seeking the release of Sikh prisoners he claims have completed their prison terms.
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Entry of visitors seeking to meet Khalsa was restricted and even his family members requested to leave his room. “We fear that the administration has plans to force-feed him and that may be why family members and others have not been allowed to meet him,” said HS Dhami of Dal Khalsa.
A board of three doctors was formed on Monday to monitor Khalsa’s health and also to convince him to consume fluids and medical treatment. Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, SSP Jagraon Ravcharan Singh Brar and civil surgeon Dr Renu Chatwal had met Khalsa so as to convince him to take medical treatment. However, the talks were inconclusive.
Khalsa’s daughter Sarvrinder Kaur, son Ravinderjit Singh Gogi and a few others who were in his room since Tuesday were asked to step out of the room and were reportedly told that no one can meet Khalsa without seeking permission from officials, even if they were his family members.
DC Rajat Aggarwal said, “Entry of visitors has been restricted on medical grounds as he is already weak. We have serious concerns about his health. Otherwise, it is not a complete ban for everyone.”
Sarvrinder Kaur told The Indian Express that she was told to leave Khalsa’s room and later officials held a meeting with her father. Kaur said, “Now, only the hospital attendant is inside the room and none of us have been allowed meet him,” she said.
Khalsa given intravenous fluids
Considering the health of Surat Khalsa, who became unconscious late on Wednesday afternoon, authorities started giving him fluid and food through intravenous therapy. A board of three doctors took the decision after Khalsa’s condition deteriorated. Deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said,”We started giving fluid to Khalsa after medical assessment since he was not taking anything orally.” The authorities started giving the fluid after the family was turned out. Visitors were not allowed to enter Khalsa’s room.