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On His ‘Deathbed’ – Separatist Altaf Ahmad Shah Needs Urgent Medical Care, Daughter Says

New Delhi: The daughter of Kashmiri separatist leader Altaf Ahmad Shah on Saturday highlighted her father’s declining health and called on the central government to provide him with immediate medical attention.

Ruwa Shah, whose father Altaf Ahmad Shah has been detained in Tihar prison since 2017 on charges of financing terrorism, said in a series of tweets on Friday that his father had been diagnosed with kidney cancer which had metastasized “and s ‘spread to other parts of his body, including his bones’ and required immediate medical attention.

Shah, the son-in-law of late separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was among seven people the National Investigation Agency stopped on terrorism financing charges in 2017.

My incarcerated father was diagnosed with [sic]]acute kidney cancer that has metastasized and spread to other parts of his body, including his bones. It is the request of my whole family to allow us to see him and consider his request for bail for health reasons,” she said in a statement. Tweeter in which she tagged both the PMO and the Home Office.

In a letter to the Union Home Secretary – which she tweeted – Ruwa also asks that Shah’s bail conditions be reviewed in light of the circumstances and that – until the court hear his request for release on bail – he is placed under house arrest.

“Until bail is granted, with due process, we ask that you put it in [sic] house arrest so that we can treat him in a private hospital,” the letter read.

Speaking to ThePrint, Ruwa said a doctor informed her Friday that her father’s cancer was in its final stages.

“My father is currently admitted to RML (Ram Manohar Lohia) Hospital in Delhi, but the health facility lacks cancer treatment,” Shah said, expressing his helplessness at not seeing his father.

A senior NIA official who did not want to be named told ThePrint that because the case was still pending, the central agency could only act on instructions from the court.

Read also : Kashmir separatist Yasin Malik convicted in 2017 terrorism financing case days after pleading guilty

“Health in decline but no medical care”

Ruwa told ThePrint that his father’s health has been declining for two weeks now, but the hospital has yet to start treating his father for cancer due to lack of the necessary facilities.

“I also visited the NIA court today (Saturday), where the judge assured me that he would help if my father’s latest health reports were presented. [before the court]Shah said, as she sobbed into the phone. The judge asked the investigative agency for her father’s medical reports by October 6, she said.

Altaf Ahmad Shah’s handwritten notes on his health | By special arrangement

“But as my father needs immediate medical attention, he is expected to be released on bail soon,” Shah said.

After his father complained of severe pain in his left abdomen two weeks ago, he was taken to the prison hospital.

“Doctor [there] had advised the prison authorities to do a CT scan of his kidney, but the prison authorities did not budge,” Shah told ThePrint. “If the scan had been done, my father would have received appropriate treatment. [by] now. Instead, the prison authorities kept him in the prison hospital without any analysis being carried out.

Shah said his father complained about his declining health to his brother Anees-ul-Islam during his visit to Tihar on 20 September. “But my father was transferred to RML 2-3 days after my brother’s visit,” said Shah, who also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22 to highlight his father’s failing health.

In May 2020 – as the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic swept the country – Shah had written a letter in Caravan magazine about his father’s deteriorating health and the inadequate medical care he was receiving in prison. In the letter, she listed her father’s health issues, ranging from diabetes to hypertension, and said he needed quality medical care.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Read also : ‘Ready for what’s next’: What Yasin Malik said about guilty plea in terrorism financing case

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