The city police forcibly shifted two youths, including a physically challenged, to district hospitals on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.
The two were observing fast unto death as part of the movement “#1857 Dobara” (1857 again) which entered the ninth day on Sunday. They had undertaken the fast as a mark of protest against being denied the opportunity to file nomination to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
The condition of both youths is stated to be critical. The condition of Praveen Singh, who is physically challenged, is stated to be deteriorating fast, while the condition of Vikas is also not improving.
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The police sources say that the decision to forcibly move the two was taken on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer Dr Rajkumar.
With the starting of filing of nomination for the election on March 18, a large group of physically challenged youths reached the district election office asking for the nomination form. The officials were taken by surprise when they came to know that all of them wanted to file nominations. Since a limited number of forms was available only a few received them. However, when they went to file the nomination they were prevented from doing so till the last date of filing of nomination that was March 25.
They started visiting the election officer each day. On March 19, police arrested Vikas, Shubham, and Abhinav and were produced in the court from where they were sent to jail for hampering peace in the area. They were later released by the administration unconditionally.
“#1857 Dobara, NOTA nahin namankan” (1857 again, nomination, not NOTA) is a movement started by the physically challenged youths under which they want to file their nominations for the Lok Sabha elections but have not been able to do so.
So Praveen and Vikas sat on fast unto death demanding extension of nomination date in Meerut and also the withdrawal of security fee which is Rs 25,000.
On Sunday, post-midnight, the police came to the Commissionarate Park where the duo was fasting and took them to the district hospital. In his report, the CMO claimed that the weight of Praveen has reduced by 7 Kg and his condition is deteriorating.
Even at the hospital, the two did not allow the doctors to put them on the drip. They also refused to consume anything despite the best efforts of the medical staff.
Devendra Hoon, a member of the #1857 Dobara, said that the “divyangs” (physically challenged) too want to participate in the electoral process and bring a revolutionary change in the political system of the country for which Meerut was chosen as it is from here that the First War of Independence was triggered in 1857.