Srinagar: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Sunday airlifted for treatment the ailing father of a 36-year-old man who had begun to cycle back home to Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district from Mumbai where he works as a watchman.
After ThePrint’s report Friday on the arduous journey Mohammad Arif had embarked on after learning that his father, Wazir Hussain, had suffered a major brain stroke, the paramilitary force intercepted him in Gujarat, officers told ThePrint.
CRPF officers noted the details of his residence and sent a team to Rajouri. Arif’s father was then taken to a district hospital, which referred him to the Government Medical College in Jammu calling it a critical case. Due to the non-availability of an ambulance, the CRPF had to airlift Hussain to Jammu, where he is being treated now.
The officers, however, said Hussain’s condition is still critical.
Arif, who had cycled more than 400 km after leaving his accommodation in Mumbai at 10 am Thursday, was intercepted by the CRPF near Vadodara Sunday afternoon.
“CRPF units across states (are) working in coordination with our officials in J&K to help. We had managed to reach him in time and now efforts are being made for him to reach his home,” CRPF Special Director General Zulfikar Hasan told ThePrint.
The IPS officer is personally overlooking the efforts made by the paramilitary force to assist Arif.
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“Our officials initially pleaded with him to stop his journey and he was informed that his father had been taken to hospital. However, the gentleman refused to budge. We also did not want to force it because it is his father that we are talking about. We are trying our best that he is able to see his father,” Hasan added.
A hurdle awaits Arif in Jammu
Arif was sent to Jodhpur in Rajasthan Sunday evening, from where he will travel to Punjab and then to Lakhanpur in Jammu, another officer in the CRPF told ThePrint. It is in Jammu that the CRPF will have a major issue to deal with.
“We sent him to Jodhpur in a truck carrying essential items. Because there is a lockdown, we can’t ferry him so we are exploring other means to assist him. The idea is to reach Lakhanpur. Because the administration in J&K has a rule at the moment to quarantine everyone entering the state for 14 days, we are seeing how to go about it so Arif is able to see his father,” said the senior officer, who did not wish to be named.
ThePrint had reported on 3 April how Arif had learnt about his father’s ailment, and because of the lack of transport options during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, purchased a second-hand bycycle and set out for a over 2,100-km journey, carrying only a few sets of clothes, some water and a blanket.
He had covered a good distance when ThePrint got in touch with him late Thursday and Friday morning.
After reading the report, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, requesting anonymity, contacted ThePrint to offer help to Arif and also looped in some of her friends in Jammu. The group then contacted the Madadgaar wing of the CRPF set up to aid civilians. The CRPF then got in touch with Arif started making all the arrangements to ensure medical treatment for his father and get him home.
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