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Samjhauta Victims in Pakistan Feel Neglected

Victims of the train blasts on the Samjhauta link train in India, being treated for burn injuries at a hospital here, feel neglected by the government //and doctors alike. They complain of lack of adequate medical attention, scars not being healed and unsatisfactory results of plastic surgery.

A team of the Daily Times newspaper found there was no doctor in the Mayo Hospital ward where the victims were recovering. The patients were not even told of the progress they had made and when they would be discharged.

Raj Kumar, nephew of Ramesh Kumar, 40, told the newspaper team that his uncle suffered severe burns on his face and body.

"The doctors do not tell me when my uncle will be discharged. I do not know whether my uncle's situation is improving or not," he rued.

Raj Kumar said he belonged to Sialkot but had been in Lahore to look after his hospitalised uncle since the tragedy.

The father of Ashok Kumar, a child who suffered burns during the tragedy, said his son received severe burns on his face. "Doctors of the Mayo Hospital are not properly attending to my son," he complained.

Mohammad Saeed, who lost his father and brother and whose 13-year-old brother Aneel Sami was being treated at the intensive care unit of the burns ward, had his own story.

Saeed said his brother received severe burn injuries - his face and most of his body was charred. Doctors had apparently promised that wrinkles would not appear on his brother's face after plastic surgery and that they would not amputate Aneel's fingers. But they did not keep their promise.

"My brother underwent several amputations. Doctors cut off all his fingers one after another," he said.

He said he had asked doctors and hospitals officials several times when his brother would be discharged but had got no response.

However, Manzoor, assistant medical superintendent at Mayo Hospital, maintained that the p atients were being given round-the-clock treatment.

Asked why there was no doctor in the ward when the media team visited it, he said the doctors might have been in another ward at that time.

As many as 68 people, mostly Pakistanis belonging to families divided by partition, died and many were injured in the blasts on the train Feb 18 night.

While investigations are on, authorities in India and Pakistan have been unable to agree on whether the probe should be conducted jointly.


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