To him his PILs mean more than lost leg – a month after blast


New Delhi : Forty-one-year-old Harish Kumar seems to remember his public interest lawsuits more than the leg he lost in the blast when he went to pursue one a month ago.

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In the orthopaedic ward of the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, without once looking at his amputated leg, Kumar talks about filing a new Right to Information (RTI) application in the civic agency over a policy related matter.

Kumar recalls the fateful day — precisely a month to date — when he had gone the Delhi High Court for hearing on one of the several public interest litigations (PILs) he takes forward from RTI responses.

“I have been coordinating on all the RTIs and PILs from hospital,” he says with a faint smile. “What (else) can be done now? It had to happen with me — and it did.”

A class 10th drop-out, Kumar has taken to shuttling between his plastic goods shop on Sadar Bazar and the RTI section of government offices.

“I will not stop fighting against injustice at any cost,” he says. Furrows on his forehead show concern, his voice determination.

His younger brother, Yogesh says Harish discusses everything except the Sep 7 incident, when an explosives-rigged briefcase went off at Gate 5 of the Delhi High Court complex, killing 15 and injuring over 70.

A father of two, Kumar is visited by his children, wife, and parents. RML Hospital has four other injured still recovering after various surgeries.

According to the family members, the compensation has been given, but it does not bother them as “money will not bring back what has been lost”.

“We have got compensation, which is around Rs.3 lakh. We will also get a prosthetic leg for Harish. But now we have stopped thinking about money,” Yogesh told IANS.

A few wards away, 60-year-old Radhey Shyam waits for a doctor to tell him if his right leg will be amputated.

The Kamla Nagar resident had hopes of recovering without any amputation, but doctors now tell him it is difficult to heal the lower half of his right leg.

“He had lost a portion of his leg in the blast,” son Amit Goyal told IANS. “Doctors will let us know in a few days if his leg has to be amputated.”