A Kashmiri doctor was arrested on Monday, August 26, after speaking to the media about the difficulties faced by the patients in Kashmir due to the ongoing communication blackout by the Centre.
Omar Salim, a urologist at Government Medical College on Monday, sat on a demonstration in Lal Chowk square in Srinagar requesting the government to restart the internet services in the valley. Wearing his lab coat, the doctor held a placard which said, “This is Not a PROTESTS This is a REQUEST”.
Barely ten minutes after interacting with BBC Urdu, the cops arrived at the location and whisked him away. The Telegraph reported that the whereabouts of the doctor was still unknown due to the information blockade.
What Did The Doctor Say?
In his three minute interview to BBC Urdu, Salim said that if the communication blackout and transportation curb continues, then there soon would be a humanitarian crisis.
Highlighting the internet outage in Kashmir, he said that the government hospital provides free medical services to the poor under Ayushman Bharat -Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Yojana free. Explaining on the need of the internet to avail the benefit from the Health Scheme he said that the entire scheme is based on the internet and all the patients are given smart cards that help doctors to provide free medicines to the patients.
“Due to the lapse of internet services for the past three weeks, the doctors are not able to provide medicines, a lot of patients who require chemotherapy and dialysis are spending from their own pockets to get treatment,” he said.
The central government suspended all modes of communication such as landline phone, mobile services, and internet connectivity since the abrogation of Article 370 which gave special status to the Jammu & Kashmir on August 5. Although landline telephones services have been started in some parts of Srinagar, mobile and internet services continue to be shut across the valley