National

Demand for a Parliamentary Panel to enquire into death of Mr. E. Ahamed

Memorandum submitted to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India by the Members of Parliament on 6th February 2017 demanding the constitution of a Parliamentary Panel to enquire into the controversy regarding the passing away of Mr. E. Ahamed, Member of Parliament.

Respected Prime Minister,

We would like to bring to your attention an extremely shocking incident relating to the passing away of the veteran Parliamentarian and former Minister of State for External Affairs, Railways, Human Resource development Mr. E. Ahamed. More than the cause of his death, it is the time of his death and the alleged cover up and withholding of information regarding the declaration of his death for certain motivated reasons which has prompted us to bring this to your attention.

Mr Ahamed apparently collapsed in the Central Hall when the President’s address was on at about 11.40 a.m. on 31.01.2017 and he was helped on by the staff of the Parliament House who were on duty at that time. He was then attended to by the doctor on duty at the Parliament. The doctor on a prima facie assessment concluded that it was a case of cardiac arrest and therefore tried to give CPR then and there to revive Mr Ahamed. However, since the doctor was not getting the pulse and heart rate was very low, Mr Ahamed was taken in an ambulance to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi.

Mr Ahamed was kept at the MICU, (Nursing Home) of the RML Hospital. Coming to know about this incident, all the MPs from Kerala headed to the RML Hospital where Mr Rahul Gandhi and Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia (both MPs) were already present. We were allowed entry inside the MICU where Mr Ahamed was kept and we could see that the doctors were trying to revive him by performing CPR on his body. The doctors and the paramedics of the MICU told us that he is not improving and the situation is getting worse and that they will try for another 20 to 30 minutes more to see if he could be revived. After a while, as there was no sign of improvement and no positive indication from the doctors, Mr Ahamed’s office assistants Mr. Shafiq VP and Mr A Hanif started reciting prayers in his ears which is a religious practice observed while a man is on the verge of passing away. Several MPs including Shri A.K. Anony, ET Mohd Baheer, MK Raghavan, PV Abdul Wahab, Anto Antony, NK Premachandran, Koikunnil Suresh, Suresh Gopi, PK Biju etc. were present inside them MICU witnessing the sad incident. At this juncture the staff of the MICU told us to wait outside so that they can do the necessary formalities and get the body outside. 

Meanwhile, Mr Jitendra Singh, Minister In-charge of the PMO arrived at the hospital and straight away headed to the room of the Medical Superintendent. Mr Singh, along with the medical superintendent, then went to the MICU and had discussions with the doctors and the paramedic staff in the MICU for around 15 minutes. Thereafter, much to the surprise of all of us that the entire scenario changed. Extra security guards, and even bouncers disguised as guards were deployed and nobody was allowed entry into the vicinity of the MICU.

After 30 minutes or so, an even more shocking news came that Mr Ahamed is being moved to the ventilator and on pacemaker and he will be shifted to the trauma care MICU which is located in a separate building. It is extremely important to note here that before any such procedure was done, neither any consent was taken from the near relatives or the close friends and associates who were present there nor the medical situation was explained to any of these people. Therefore, from a situation where the doctors and paramedics staff of the ICU had told the MPs some 30 minutes back at around 1 15 PM that he could not be revived, at 2 PM after the meeting of the Minister, Mr Jitendra Singh with the Medical Superintendent and the doctors, a new situation emerged that Mr Ahamed is still alive and therefore he is being transferred to the trauma care ICU.

As the news spread that he is being shifted, we all lined up in the corridor through which he would have been shifted. At around 2 PM, he was brought of the MICU and was being shifted. Mr Ahamed’s body had lot of apparatus fixed on it, including an external device, (automated CPR) which was banging heart on his chest. His eyes were taped shut and there was no sign of any life in the body. He was hurriedly shifted to the trauma care ICU at around 2 PM and thereafter he was completely out of bounds for anybody. At around 3 PM, Prof. PJ Kurien, Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha came to enquire about his health along with three other MPs namely P Karunakaran, Smt. PK Srimathi and PK Biju. The guards standing outside the ICU flatly refused the request of Mr Kurien and other MPs to either speak to the doctors who are attending to him or to have a glimpse of Mr Ahamed. At around 4 30 PM, a person from the hospital staff came and pasted a notice on the glass window of the ICU stating that the patient, Mr Ahamed, is highly critical and is on the support of ventilator and pacemaker. Although we were all sitting outside the ICU and waiting for some information, there was no responsible person who was attending to Mr Ahamed or giving out any information as to what was his condition. 

Mr Ahamed’s daughter, Dr Fauzia who is a lecturer in Dubai Medical College, Dubai and his son in law, Dr Babu Shershad, a senior Nephrologist, came down from Dubai at around 8 30 PM. The daughter's request to visit her father and to get the latest health update was not heeded to by any of the persons who were in the ICU. It is also to be mentioned here that for almost seven hours from 2 PM, no senior official, no Minister from the Govt, not even the Medical Superintendent of the hospital visited the ICU to monitor the situation. There was only one Minister, i.e. Mr. Jitendra Singh who came was before Mr Ahamed was shifted to the trauma care ICU.

It is also difficult to fathom the logic behind shifting a patient who had suffered cardiac arrest, from the MICU to the trauma care ICU. Be that as it may, we all patiently waited outside the trauma care ICU and had even requested the medical superintendent in his room that when Mr Ahamed's children come, they should be allowed to visit their father to which the medical superintendent had agreed to. 

Unfortunately, the atmosphere turned hostile when his children who are both doctors were denied entry by the bouncers who were manning the ICU, on the ground that they have instructions not to let anybody enter and visit Mr Ahamed. By 10 PM, his other children also had reached the Hospital from their places of employment and none of them were allowed to visit their father. No one even bothered to explain to them the health condition of their father. Information about the confusion created in the CCICU added their worry.

At about 10 30 PM, Mr Ahmed Patel, Member of Parliament, came to the Hospital to get an update of the health condition of Mr, Ahamed. He was also meted out the same excuse. At this juncture Mr Patel made it very clear that if the children were not being allowed to visit their father then there is something serious behind the same. After a long and heated exchange between the hospital staff (no responsible and senior person was available to talk), his daughter and son in law were allowed entry only upto the door of trauma care ICU. But they were not allowed to go anywhere near the patient to have a glimpse of their father.

At around 11.30 PM Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President along with Mr Ghulab Nabi Azad, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha came to the Hospital. At around 12 midnight, Mr Rahul Gandhi also joined in.

This was a case where no information being communicated by the authorities nor was there any responsible official monitoring the situation. The medical superintendent was not responding to the phone calls and no authorities from the health ministry were also responding to the issue. A complaint was filed by Mr Ahamed Raees, son of Mr E Ahamed with the Police Post in RML Hospital Compound under SHO, Police Station, Mandir Marg. As a part of their investigation, a team of police officers, came to the ICU but there was no responsible person as in-charge of the ICU to answer their queries. On the insistence of Mrs Gandhi and other leaders who were present, a couple of doctors appeared on the scene and said that another test to see whether the brain is still active or not is to be performed on Mr Ahamed. When questions were asked as to what they were doing for the last 10 hours or so, there were no answers but only some confessions that there have been some lapses on the part of the authorities. This happened at around 12 midnight.

Even at around 2 AM on 1st February 2017 there was no further action on the part of the authorities to conduct any tests. Thereafter the police intervened and told the junior officials and paramedics present in the ICU that the daughter and son in law of Mr Ahamed should be given the visitation right to see their father along with the junior doctors who were on duty. It is only then that Mr Ahamed’s daughter, Dr Fousia and his son in law, Dr Babu Shershad, were allowed inside the ICU to have a view of their father. What they saw there was the dead body of their dear father. Dr Shersad came out of the ICU and said that the death might have happened a long time back since the body has been disfigured and was on the verge of decomposition. 

These sequences of events can lead only to one conclusion that this is a case of total mismanagement on the part of the RML authorities. A senior Member of Parliament having this fate is quite shocking an unbelievable. There were no high level officials or any responsible persons who were monitoring the situation and throughout when he was in the trauma care ICU, there was no briefing by any senior doctors or officials about his health status.  

As mentioned earlier, Mr Ahamed was not a bed ridden patient, rather he left his home hale and hearty at 10 45 AM after his daily routine and normal breakfast and therefore the disfiguration of the body itself is a piece of evidence to suggest that something drastically wrong has happened in this case. It may also be stated that the normal medical protocols like putting a patient on ventilator or any other life support device and taking the patient out of such ventilator or life support device without the consent of the relatives or near ones is also in total breach of the medical protocols. The denial of visitation rights to his children who were also senior doctors is another aspect which needs a closer look, whereas normally the visitors of the patients admitted in ICU are allowed entry between 7 to 7.30 .m.

In view of the above, we strongly feel and request that a parliamentary panel consisting of senior members be formed to enquire into the entire gamut of issues including the circumstances leading to Mr Ahamed’s passing away and the subsequent developments. Also this will lead to ensure that such negligence on the part of authorities concerned are not recurred.

With warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

Signatories 

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