A policeman in the line of fire
ISLAMABAD: By now September 21 has become merely a bad memory for most of us. But the family of an Islamabad policeman is among many who are still living the horrors of the mindless mayhem the day witnessed in the name of showing love for the Prophet of Islam (PBUH).
ASI Sher Mohammad, 43, was hit by a bullet fired by Afghans protesting the nonsensical film ‘Innocence of Islam’ at Tarnol on the day and has been lying paralysed and semiconscious since then in a private hospital.
“His family – two wives and six children – have no means to foot the bill which has climbed to Rs2.8 million by now. They have not even received his latest salary,” constable Shakeel Abbas, taking care of him in the hospital, told Dawn on Wednesday.
Before his elder brother Mohammad Younus had been looking after Sher but he left on Sunday to look after his own family in Lilla, near Jhelum, after Sher was taken out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and fed from the mouth.
Doctors attending Sher said the bullet had shattered his ribs, grazed his spinal cord and punctured his lungs and oesophagus – the pipe that carries food to the stomach. The injuries paralysed him down the waist and the rest of the body is in no better shape as he had banged his head on a stone on falling from the bullet.
The concussion has affected his speech and he frequently relapses into semi or unconsciousness.
Their unanimous opinion was that “full recovery would take years, and we are not even sure about his chances of recovery”.
On Monday, the doctors took the chance of feeding him through the mouth but that worsened the patient’s condition. They suspect the food went down the wrong way and he has developed pneumonia.
A hospital run by the much in news property tycoon Malik Riaz had offered to treat the 55 policemen injured in the attack on Tarnol Police Station by rioting Afghans in the September 21 madness.
However none of them needed expert medical help, except ASI Sher who, unfortunately cannot be moved because of his condition, complicated by his abnormally high blood pressure.
Sher had been firing teargas shells from behind a bus at the rioters when a bullet hit him and he fell down. His comrades had given him up as dead as he fell and lay motionless on the ground.
They carried him inside the police station where, after about 50 minutes, one saw his eyes moving and he was rushed to the nearest hospital where he lies till today.
There the bill is rising, but the police department, which he has served for 25 years, seems to be done with him after doling out Rs200,000 for his treatment.