NEW DELHI, India—On August 7, the Sarbat Khalsa appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara underwent an operation at Guru Nanak Eye Center in Delhi for the removal of a cataract from his right eye. The operation remained successful after which Bhai Hawara was sent back to Tihar jail.
It may be recalled here that Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara was diagnosed with a problem of cataract in his right eye due to which his vision was falling short day by day. However, the Tihar jail administration didn’t avail medical treatment to him for a long time despite repeated requests.
Sikh Organisation for Prisoner Welfare, a UK based organization, that has been providing legal support to Bhai Hawara said that it took almost two months of lobbying to seek medical intervention.
“We had previously written to Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia (Delhi CM and Deputy respectively), the Lieutenant Governor of NCT Delhi Anil Baijal, the DGP of Tihar Jail Complex Sandeep Goel and the Home Minister Amit Shah, all of whom expressed concern of the circumstances but ultimately failed to appreciate the urgency of the humanitarian request and medical treatment required to save Bhai Jagtar Singh’s sight as he had a suspected malignant growth that was threatening to pressure the nerves and blood channels nourishing his eye,” SOPW added.
Ultimately, an appeal was made to the Delhi High Court through Advocate Paramjeet Singh in order to obtain a judicial oversight and review of the situation before it became a calamity, potentially causing broader social and communal anxiety and distress. Several hearings later, the Judge. Navin Chawla, on 4th August 2020 agreed with our application and made the requisite judgment, ordering the operation to save the sight being carried out forthwith.
Dr. Shruti who carried out the surgery told SOPW, “He would have lost his eye as per the damaged sustained, had the surgery been delayed further, as it is, because of the damage we could not operate with laser or any other latest machine and therefore operated by hand. It is a successful surgery and Mr Hawara should recover completely aftersome care and weeks.”