Hyderabad BDS chief quits over ‘official slackness leading to colleague’s death’

Published October 31, 2014
.—Photo courtesy Salim Vistro facebook page
.—Photo courtesy Salim Vistro facebook page

HYDERABAD: The official in charge of the Hyderabad bomb disposal squad (BDS), Inspector Fakhrul Hasnain, on Thursday tendered his resignation in protest against the alleged delay caused by his superiors in releasing the urgently required funds to save the life of Salim Vistro, a seasoned professional who was wounded while defusing a cracker at Tando Allayar police station on Tuesday.

“His condition was not serious until several hours after the incident but he needed immediate treatment,” Mr Husnain revealed.

Also read: Wounded BDS official dies

Mr Vistro was first taken to a Tando Allayhar hospital after he lost two fingers of his left hand and sustained deep burns on both of his hands and multiple wounds on some other parts of his body. After examining his wounds, the doctors at the hospital referred him to the Liaquat University Hospital. He was given treatment and taken to a private hospital in Karachi, where he died during treatment on Wednesday.

Inspector Hasnain said Mr Vistro would have survived had he been provided timely treatment. He accused his superiors of showing slackness in releasing the required amount of money for the treatment. The delay actually caused Mr Vistro’s death, he claimed.

The official was wounded while performing his duty and it was the department’s obligation to ensure timely and proper treatment to save his life, he argued. The officials responsible for releasing money adopted delaying tactics knowing that Mr Vistro was profusely bleeding and needed emergency treatment, he alleged.

Recalling the ordeal, Mr Hasnain said an amount of Rs90,000 was released by the Hyderabad special branch out of which Rs40,000 was deposited with the LHU on Tuesday evening and an equal amount was spent for purchasing medicines and other related medical essentials for Mr Vistro’s treatment.

On Wednesday morning, he was taken to a private hospital, which asked for Rs100,000 and the request was forwarded to the officials concerned. However, the amount was not released until Mr Vistro died due to excessive bleeding, he added.

Mr Hasnain said he decided to resign from his post because he could not fulfil his obligation of extending official assistance and cooperation to his subordinates at a time when they need help to survive. He said it was part of his duty to get his subordinates genuine problems resolved. “I cannot leave them to die,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad special branch SSP Imdad Ali Shah told the media in his office that Mr Vistro’s family was reluctant to take him to the PNS Shifa, which was on police panel. Therefore, he added, the family was allowed to take him to a hospital of their choice. He said that the money required for his treatment at the LHU was immediately released. The SSP claimed that another amount of Rs150,000 was released on Wednesday morning but Mr Vistro succumbed to his wounds before the officials carrying the money could reach the private hospital in Karachi. When asked about Mr Hasnain’s resignation, the SSP expressed his unawareness.

He said the special branch (headquarters) DSP, Farhat Ali Khan, had been assigned an inquiry into the allegation of a delay in the treatment of Mr Vistro. He would also look into the report that Mr Vistro did not use the kit and official vehicle when he proceeded to Tando Allahyar to defuse the seized crackers.

BDS staff on Thursday held a protest demonstration outside their office in Hyderabad over the alleged slackness and indifferent attitude of the department’s high-ups.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad DIG Dr Sanaullah Abbasi has recommended a compensation of Rs10 million to be paid to Mr Vistro’s family. He has also recommended jobs in the police department for some family members of the deceased official.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2014

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