Ibrahim, an undertrial prisoner who has been booked under UAPA for allegedly being part of a Maoist group, has been in jail for the past six years.

67-yr-old UAPA prisoners family seeks bail after medical report warns of health issues
news Human Rights Sunday, August 29, 2021 - 19:54

Human rights activists in Kerala have been demanding the release of Wayanad native Ibrahim, a 67-year-old undertrial UAPA prisoner, due to his deteriorating health for some time now. Amid this, a medical report by the Thrissur Government Medical College has surfaced, warning of Ibrahim’s serious heart condition that requires continued treatment and care. Ibrahim’s family, who have voiced their pleas many times, have come out again seeking government intervention to allow him bail. Ibrahim, who is already suffering from various diseases including diabetes, has also not been able to intake solid food for the past few months due to the loss of his teeth, according to his family.

Ibrahim aka Babu, has been in jail for the past six years, without bail. He was nabbed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2016, in connection with a civil police officer’s motorcycle being set on fire, allegedly by a group of CPI(Maoists) members. NIA arrested Ibrahim, accusing him of being a Maoist member. However, according to human rights activists in the state, Ibrahim was a popular people’s leader in Wayanad during the late 90s. He had led many protests against the eviction of workers of the Harrison Malayalam plantations. Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam, a human rights group, had alleged that he was being targeted for his social and class consciousness.

In the medical report by the Superintendent of the Thrissur Medical College, dated August 16, a cardiology expert has stated that Ibrahim has coronary heart disease and has had a myocardial infarction (heart attack) earlier. The report further states that though presently, his cardiac situation is stable, he needs continued treatment and medical follow-up. The doctor has also advised that he should not be under excessive physical stress or strain. Most importantly, the report also states that “considering present conditions, there is always an increased risk of future cardiovascular events”. 

Further, the pulmonary expert said that Ibrahim has breathing difficulty (grade 2 dyspnoea) and that he has features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and post tuberculosis sequelae– Ibrahim had tuberculosis years back. The pulmonary expert has recommended ‘proper bronchial hygiene, pulmonary rehabilitation, and bronchodilators (medication to relax bronchi or airways)’. Medical reports also suggest that Ibrahim, who has diabetes mellitus needs strict monitoring of his blood sugar.

Speaking to TNM, Ibrahim’s family states that Ibrahim’s condition has been deteriorating for the past many months, especially after he lost all his teeth. “After his teeth extraction months back, he hasn’t had proper solid food. He is surviving merely on chapatis soaked in tea or water. Since he has sugar he cannot eat other food also. How can someone of his age remain healthy by this, considering all other ailments he has,” says Jameela, Ibrahim’s wife. Though Jameela had in June written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the state police chief, there had been no intervention. “I had talked to him (Ibrahim) today also. The medical report says he should not take any stress, but how can he take care of himself all alone inside the jail. At least, let him out on bail. We can take care of him,” Jameela adds.

She also adds that the trial in the case only began two months back. In her letter to the state police chief demanding Ibrahim’s release, she had stated that initially he was booked under two cases for the same incident of the police officer’s bike being allegedly burned. Earlier this year, Ibrahim was acquitted in one of the cases by the Kozhikode Sessions Court.“Consider his age, consider his ailments and grant him bail on humanitarian grounds. We are afraid something will happen to him,” Ibrahim’s son Naufal, tells TNM.

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