Last week, a heart-wrenching picture of a Muslim youth sitting beside his ailing Hindu friend holding his head in his lap won the internet. However, this heartwarming tale did not have a happy ending.
On the night of May 16, ailing Amrit took his last breath at Shivpuri hospital in Madhya Pradesh.
Devastated by the demise of his friend, Mohd Sayyum had a harrowing experience in taking back his friend’s body to native place in Basti, Uttar Pradesh. The Shivpuri administration declined to offer an ambulance and on Monday evening after hours of hardship the ambulance arrived.
Both Sayyum (23) and Amrit (24) were part of a group that was heading to Uttar Pradesh from Surat, Gujarat. They worked at a yarn making unit in Surat and lived together in the city.
The day when both were travelling in a truck, Amrit felt uneasiness, following which the fellow passengers got scared of corona and asked the driver to drop him then and there. Concerned that how his ailing friend would manage treatment, Sayyum too alighted at Shivpuri. Keeping Amrit’s head in his lap, crying at Shivpuri highway, Sayyum sought help from passersby.
Some locals helped them and dropped at a district hospital and Amrit was put on a ventilator. On the night of May 16 night, Amrit died. Corona samples of both were taken and they were tested negative. No post-mortem was carried and the exact cause behind Amrit’s death is unknown.
Amrit is survived by five sisters and family could come and take the body along. News18 MP correspondent Ashok Agrawal who was actively helping the two since their arrival in Shivpuri narrated the ordeal.
“I was starting the day on Monday and my phone beeped and Md Sayyum was on the other side. He informed me that the corona test report of both of them has pronounced them negative and urged me to arrange transportation to their native village, Bandi Balas. As I called up civil surgeon Dr PK Khare, he claimed that papers were ready and they will send the two in 15 minutes. However, on my arrival at the district hospital, there was no arrangement at all. After several hours, the hospital claimed that Jhansi administration was sending an ambulance which eventually arrived at 4.30pm. The ambulance was taken to a mortuary but as the body was lifted up, it emerged that the carcass had started to rot and the ambulance driver was quick to refuse to take this body. We arranged a blue polythene sheet and after wrapping the body into it, the ambulance left,” he recounted.
Md Sayyum right from the start identified himself as Amrit’s brother but when I asked him on Monday that he was a Muslim, he replied with innocence, “We were from the same village, so this way we are brothers.” He added.