Police Detain, Then Release Auto-Ambulance Driver Javed Khan Offering Free Service in Bhopal


Javed Khan

He has fitted his autorickshaw with an oxygen cylinder, PPE kit, sanitiser as well as an oximeter and ferrying Covid patients for the past 20 days

Rushda Fathima Khan | Clarion India

BHOPAL – Bhopal Police have registered an FIR against Javed Khan, the 34-year-old who turned his autorickshaw into a free ambulance for Covid patients. He was stopped by the police while he was on his way to Ayushman Hospital after receiving an emergency call. He was held by the police for two hours and released later, following directions from the DIG.

“The road was barricaded and they did not allow me to pass. I told them I was on my way to hospital and showed them the Oxygen cylinder. On seeing the cylinder they began accusing me of illegally transporting cylinders,” Khan told Clarion India over the phone from Bhopal.

Khan said he informed the police officers deployed at the barricade that he has been using his autorickshaw as an emergency ambulance for a while now. He also asked them to verify with the caller who had asked him to come to Ayushman hospital.

Khan was held by the police for two hours, then released following directions from the DIG.
He was dismayed by police behaviour. “How can they just detain me like that,” said Khan who has relentlessly been ferrying Covid patients in his autorickshaw ambulance in Bhopal for the past 20 days.

Many have hailed him a ‘hero’ and come forward in awe and admiration of his selfless venture.

Khan is also observing his fasts on most days, as it is the month of Ramadan. “I have fasted most days. Some days when I return home late after dropping a patient, I miss my Sehri (morning meal) and hence skip the fasting,” he says.

A lone Covid warrior, he is not backed by any organisation or institute. On knowing about the lack of ambulances amid the unprecedented health crisis, Khan decided to turn his autorickshaw into a free ambulance for Covid patients. His auto is fully equipped with an oxygen cylinder, PPE kit, sanitiser and also an oximeter. Khan, who normally earned Rs 200-300 per day, has limited financial resources. To obtain an oxygen cylinder, he sold his wife’s necklace for Rs 5,000. Now he is using his savings for refuelling.

Khan has been driving an auto for 18 years. “Though no one has been infected in my family, I was very disturbed seeing several people being forced to carry their relatives on the shoulder or pull them on carts due to unavailability of ambulances. I strongly felt I needed to do something about it with the resources I have,” he says.

Khan has made his contact number available on social media. He receives around 5-6 calls in a day for the past 20 days. “It is completely free. Whoever is in trouble and is not able to get an ambulance can call me. I am ready to help people 24 hours,” he further states.
Bhopal, on Friday, reported 1,713 new cases, taking the infection tally to 89,773. Out of the 97 deaths recorded in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, four fatalities were from Bhopal, taking the death tally in the city to 736.

However, reports suggest that deceased Covid-19 patients who are being cremated or buried in Bhopal city are far higher than what the official records have been stating over the past days. A report surveying two cremation grounds in Bhopal noted that a total of 187 bodies were cremated at the two sites under Covid protocols, while the official Covid-19 death toll remained at five. Another report noted that on April 10th, 11th and 12th – 56, 68 and 59 bodies were cremated in the city, while the official bulletin stated only 24, 24 and 37 deaths respectively, across the entire state.

As India grapples in the middle of the pandemic, with thousands of infections and deaths, oxygen, and drug shortages, Muslims have been at the forefront – supplying medical aids and oxygen cylinders; opening up mosques to serve as isolation centres; volunteering at hospitals and helping perform last rites of non-Muslims.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:




More like this

M S Swaminathan: A Light that Shone was No Ordinary Light

NEW DELHI - M.S Swaminathan is no more. The...

Will You Resign if Nothing Found in Probe, Kejriwal Asks PM Modi over House Renovation Row

NEW DELHI- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on...

Govt Crushed Hopes & Dreams of Youth, Leading to Rising Suicides among Them: Congress

NEW DELHI - Congress on Thursday again trained its...

LS Speaker Refers Complaint against BJP MP Bidhuri to Privileges Committee

NEW DELHI - Days after several Opposition MPs wrote...