Kashmiri doctor arrested after raising concerns about medical situation in IoK

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Indian authorities arrested a doctor in occupied Kashmir for appealing the Indian government to restore telephone and internet facilities for all hospitals and medical establishments in the region, BBC reported on Monday.

“This is not a protest, this is a request. Please restore landline and internet connectivity for all hospitals and medical establishments in [occupied] Jammu and Kashmir,” read the placard carried by Dr Umar.

Prior to his arrest, the doctor warned that the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir might result in a humanitarian crises, he said in an interview with BBC.

“We are [otherwise] able to provide free-of-cost treatment to patients below the poverty line in government and private hospitals under the [Indian] National Health Protection Scheme. But due to lack of connectivity, we have not been able to provide medical treatment to [needy patients] for the last three weeks. Now we are observing that several patients have been arranging medicines for their dialysis and chemotherapy treatments on their own,” said Dr. Omar, a urologist at the Government Medical College in the state capital of Srinagar.

He stressed that most Kashmiris could not purchase medicines because ATMs had run out of money.

“The connection between the internet and healthcare system is that the healthcare scheme is entirely an internet-based scheme. [Under the scheme,] each and every patient is issued a card. The patient brings the card to hospital whenever he visits a doctor,” he told BBC.

New Delhi imposed the strict movement and communications clampdown hours before stripping the restive Himalayan region of its autonomy on August 5, to force silence on any unrest triggered by the controversial move.

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