Cancer patient dies in lock-up, family says denied medicine

a screen shot of a cage

© Provided by The Indian Express

A 50-year-old man, who was detained and brought to Vejalpur police station in Ahmedabad in a case of gambling, died on Sunday morning, prompting his family members to allege that he died because he was not provided his daily medication despite being a cancer patient.

The deceased identified as Abdul Kadir Shaikh (50), a resident of Vejalpur in Ahmedabad, was detained by the Gujarat Police State Monitoring Cell for gambling on Saturday night and brought to Vejalpur police station. Shaikh, who ran business of biscuits from his house, was suffering from Laryngeal cancer (voicebox cancer) and he was put under detention at Vejalpur police station after his Covid-19 test at 9 pm on Saturday.

On Sunday morning around 11 am, the family of Shaikh was informed by the police that he had died inside police lock-up under mysterious circumstances. The body has been sent for post-mortem and a case of accidental death has been registered in the matter.

The family alleged that he was denied access to medication for his cancer despite the former reaching the police station on three occasions between 9 pm on Saturday and 8:30 am on Sunday.

“My uncle had to take sets of medicines at least 5-6 times every day for his cancer. After we got to know that he was detained, we reached the police station around 9:30 pm with medicines and food but we were not allowed to meet him. Then his wife tried to get his medicines at 3 am and 8:30 am on Sunday but she was not allowed once again. At 11 am, we were told that he died. We have not found any injury marks on his body and we are awaiting the PM report,” said Hussain Patel, the deceased’s nephew.

Speaking to The Indian Express, L D Odedara, police inspector and in charge officer of Vejalpur police station, said, “Shaikh was brought in connection with a gambling case and was put under detention after his Covid-19 test. The CCTV footage of the lock-up where he was put in clearly shows that around 8:30 am on Sunday, he had breakfast and then went to sleep. Then around 10 am, another inmate of the lock-up tried to wake him up but there was no response. We then called 108 ambulance helpline and a team reached the police station. Shaikh was declared dead by the 108 medical team and then his body was sent to Civil Hospital.”

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