Former Colombo Deputy Mayor and founder leader of the National Unity Front Azath Salley has been admitted again on Monday May 6th to the Colombo National Hospital after losing consciousness in Police custody
Salley was carried out on a stretcher by Policemen at the Police CID headquarters in Fort and rushed to hospital and wheeled in to ward forty – five where he was administered Saline and Insulin by doctors.
The 52 year old Muslim political leader who is a diabetic and also suffering from hypertension was in a critical condition following a protest fast he had undertaken from the time of his arrest at 5.55 am on Thursday May 2nd.
Azath had been refusing to eat or even drink water at a stretch for more than 120 hours in protest against his arrest which he described as wrongful and false.
He had earlier collapsed in his chair when being interrogated and was admitted to ward 55 of the National Hospital on Friday May 3rd evening. He had been brought back to Police headquarters on Saturday May 4th.
Salley’s physical condition had deteriorated further as he continued to refrain from food or water but the authorities turned a blind eye and deaf ear to appeals made by Salley’s family members to readmit him to hospital.
When his lawyer Shiraz Noordeen went to see him on Sunday May 5th Salley had to be helped by two Policemen to walk as he was in a weak condition.
Despite this being the actual situation ,the Media Cebtre for National security director Lakshman Hulugalle addressing a press conference in Colombo on Monday May 6th morning said that Azath Salley was now consuming food and that his health was normal. Hulugalle also told the BBC Sinhala service “Sandesaya”that Salley had been eating from Sunday onwards.
Lakshman Hulugalle’s blatant lies in this regard were exposed on Monday evening when Salley lost consciousness while in his police cell.
He was then rushed to hospital where he recovered after treatment
Upon regaining consciousness and recovering Salley had stopped saline being administered to him on Tuesday May 7th morning saying that he would continue with his protest fast until he was released.
Efforts are on to file a habeas corpus writ in the Court of Appeal and fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court on behalf of Azath Salley
Meanwhile friends and family members of Azath Salley have issued a public appeal to all Muslims in Sri Lanka to observe Thursday May 9th as a day of fast and prayer(Nonbu) seeking the health and freedom of Azath Salley.
DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at dbs firstname.lastname@example.org