Dr Charanjeet Singh Saluja’s made a brave decision to put his duty as a doctor above his life, ignoring the risk involved in reaching Bhamragarh after the naxal attack, to ensure that lives of injured jawans were saved on time with medical help on Wednesday.
The 40-year-old doctor was at his clinic in Alapalli, which is 65 km away from Bhamragarh, when he first received a call for medical help.
“I was treating patients when I got a call at 8.30pm about naxalite attack on Koti-Hemalkasa Road in Bhamragarh taluka. The jawans needed immediate medical help and there was no doctor. I left with required medical help, along with my compounder and driver,” said Saluja.
The Wednesday blast killed one jawan and injured 23.
“I was advised against going there as it involved risk to my life. But, being a doctor, I could not stop myself from going there and giving treatment in the golden hour to the jawans,” said Dr Saluja.
Narrating the events that transpired on the fateful night, Dr Saluja said he was intercepted by naxalites on his way, but he managed to dodge them.
“Though we could escape the naxals, other hindrance was to manage transport after Perimili. I reached there in a mine-protected vehicle (MPV) of police department, but cops refused to go ahead as there was a tip-off of a possible ambush. I, then, went inside Perimili village. There was a wedding reception on and I requested them to lend me a car to reach Bhamragarh,” said Dr Saluja.
With villagers allowing him to take the vehicle, Dr Saluja drove the car at a speed of around 100 kmph and reached the spot at 10pm.
“Windows of the car were rolled down and we had switched on internal lights as Naxalites do not attack civilian vehicles. When we reached the spot, Suresh Telami, who died in the attack, had multiple fractures and a head injury. I tried cardiac-massage and other resuscitation techniques in absence of a ventilator, but he did not respond,” the doctor said.
Dr Saluja managed to save police sub-inspector (PSI) Deepak Mandwalkar from the jaws of death as his urinary bladder was ruptured and he had intestinal perforation.
“He was in a state of shock. We administered him ‘haemaccel’ – a type of intravenous colloid, which acts as a replacement for blood in emergency situations,” he said.
Dr Saluja, along with seven medical staff from a rural hospital, managed to save Namdeo Bogami, a jawan who was critical with a serious chest injury and a fractured hip-joint.
While treating the injured, Dr Saluja also coordinated with doctors in Nagpur to shift the jawans for advanced treatment.
“At 6.30am, a chopper arrived and we shifted injured jawans to Nagpur hospital,” said Saluja.