Cybernoon, Mumbai | Tuesday, April 25, 2006 11:15:55 IST
Fewer VIP visits on day three; party leaders move on with campaigning after visiting Mahajan
On day three, the buzz outside the P D Hinduja Hospital in Mahim seemed to have been subdued after the frenzy seen outside the hospital for a couple of days after BJP leader Pramod Mahjan was shot at by his brother.
The number of VIPs and senior BJP leaders visiting the Hospital had gone down considerably. Even as Mahajan’s condition remained critical and doctors ruled out the possibility of any surgery during the next couple of days, the atmosphere and mood at the popular hospital had changed yesterday.
While a few state BJP leaders were seen huddled up and chatting at the entrance of the hospital and near the reception, even the number of police personnel stationed there was lesser and seemingly, a lot relaxed. The crowd of onlookers too was less and scattered party workers hung around silently watching their leaders streaming in and out of the hospital. With party big bosses like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and party president Rajnath Singh having already left town after paying a visit to the Hinduja Hospital, even BJP workers preferred to stay away from the hospital.
Speaking to Afternoon BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "Due to their packed schedule, all big bosses of the party have left. They have to rush for the campaigning for Assembly polls. Even I am going to New Delhi tomorrow. We cannot sit here in Mumbai. There are many leaders here to look after Mahajan."
Meanwhile, there was no sign of improvement in the condition of Pramod Mahajan. Yesterday morning he was put on dialysis as his kidney function has been badly affected. In the early morning hours, lung specialist Dr Mohmmed Rela and Dr G B Daver examined Mahajan. Doctor Rela later told mediapersons that "no surgery will be done at least for the next two days." He added, "Mahajan is stable but still critical."
Interestingly, leaders from Sangh Parivar have kept themselves away from Hinduja. Barring Madandas Devi, not a single leader has turned up to see Mahajan. RSS Chief K Sudarshan and General Secretary Mohan Bhagwat had not visited the hospital until yesterday.
By the way…
l Patients coming to Hinduja Hospital seem to be bearing the brunt of a VIP being admitted there. Yesterday afternoon, a teenaged boy who had been through a check-up at the hospital emerged out of the clinic along with his father. Unable to bear the air-conditioning inside and due to heavy police bandobast the boy could not sit in the lobby. The father-sun duo sat on the pavement even as the sallow-looking boy threw up more than a couple of times. Out on the road, Good Samaritans gave them a helping hand but the child desperately needed to lie down. Someone asked a cop to allow the boy to lie down in the police van. But the cops were too duty-bound. Nah, not towards the boy but towards the VIP security. Finally, the boy plonked down on the floor at a nearby petrol pump before his father hailed a cab to Dadar to get home to Ulhasnagar.
A VIP in hospital has many cascading effects. Like we saw it at a wayside jhunka-bhakar stall not too far from the hospital. It seems all the policemen on duty at Hinduja Hospital were having lunch at this jhunka-bhakar stall. Though the stall sees many customers daily, the lot is restricted to those residing and working in the vicinity. But yesterday, the place almost resembled a police canteen as uniformed cops sat grabbing a bite. Hot chapattis, home-made varan bhaat, delicious Maharashtrian bhaji washed down with chhaas. But of course, the women seemed to be on their toes with this unexpected influx of customers. “Sakal pasoon sarka kaam aahey aaz,” one of the women at the stall was overheard as saying.
Residents around the Hospital are sure having a tough time with the buzz around their next-door Hinduja hospital. While TV channels’ outdoor broadcast (OB) vans are stationed at the northern end of Cadell Road, police vans are parked along PN Kotnis Marg and on the southern side of Cadell Road. A young lady was seen complaining about the long hours of wait to get across the road. Even the newspaper vendor from across the hospital seems to have shifted shop elsewhere.
Mahim police understress
Presently, the Mahim areas seems to be in the news. While the immediate telling effect of the attack on Pramod Mahajan was on the Mahim police station under whose jurisdiction the Hinduja hospital falls. While the communal tension in and around Mahim’s Mogul Lane is not something unknown, what’s adding to the police’s woes is the suicide of film actor Navin Nischol’s wife, on Sunday.
The Mahim police are now on their toes, attending top brass of police department and maintaining law and order at Hinduja Hospital vicinity where several VIPs have been visiting to see Mahajan. But in spite of all this mess, they are managing the show.
Speaking to ‘Afternoon’ assistant Commissioner of police (Mahim Division) Ashok Desai said, "I do not know how but we are managing it. Three companies of sticking force one of them from State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been deployed here to assist the Mahim police. Apart from these forces few officers and staff from Local Arms (LA) department are posted at Hinduja. With help of this additional force till now we have managed to sail smoothly".
"In the morning shift at Hinduja, five Inspectors and 13 Sub-Inspectors are posted. At night the number is little lesser," he added.