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Insulin Row: “Kejriwal is on Oral Medicine, had Stopped Insulin Months back”

Insulin Row: “Kejriwal is on Oral Medicine, had Stopped Insulin Months back”

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NEW DELHI, Apr 20: The Tihar jail authorities have claimed that the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had stopped taking insulin months before his arrest and was on basic anti-diabetes oral medicine.

Refuting the Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that the Enforcement Directorate at the behest of the BJP government at the centre was “conspiring to kill” Mr Kejriwal, the jail authorities claimed that the Delhi chief minister had himself told the jail doctors that he had stopped taking insulin and was on oral medicine. Denying that the jail authorities were refusing to give Mr Kejriwal insulin, they said there were enough insulin available in the jail dispensary and could be injected to the Delhi chief minister if there was medical advice.

The insulin issue has sparked a major political row after Mr Kejriwal petitioned the Delhi court seeking permission for a regular video conferencing with his personal doctor due to increasing level of blood sugar. The court order on the issue was expected on Monday. But the officials quoting a report of the Tihar jail administration to the Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena said on Saturday that Mr Kejriwal had stopped taking insulin months before his arrest and was on a basic anti-diabetes oral medicine.

In response, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi said the report has “exposed” the BJP’s “conspiracy.” “At the behest of the BJP, a conspiracy is underway to kill Kejriwal in jail. The chief minister has been taking insulin for 12 years, what is the problem for the Tihar administration to give insulin to him?” she asked. The Delhi minister also claimed that Mr Kejriwal used to take 50 units of insulin daily before he was sent to jail.

Mr Kejriwal — who is under the care of a Telangana-based private doctor for diabetes — stopped taking insulin a few months ago and, at the time of his arrest, he was on a basic anti-diabetes oral tablet called Metformin, the officials said, citing the Tihar report. During his medical check-ups in Tihar jail, Mr Kejriwal told doctors that he was taking insulin “since the last few years and stopped taking it a few months back,” the report said.

Mr Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money-laundering case linked to the Delhi government’s now-scrapped excise policy. He has been lodged in Tihar jail since April 1. According to the medical records from RML Hospital, Mr Kejriwal was “neither advised any insulin nor any requirement of any insulin was indicated,” the Tihar report said and added that the chief minister’s health was reviewed by a medicine specialist on April 10 and April 15.

The specialist advised oral anti-diabetic drugs and it was “incorrect to state that Kejriwal was denied insulin at any point of time” during his treatment, it said.

The medicine specialist, after examining Mr Kejriwal, noted, “Considering all parameters and vitals of undertrial prisoner (Mr Kejriwal) since his lodgment in judicial custody, his blood sugar levels are not alarming, and administration of insulin is not required as of now.”

The Tihar administration, in a letter to AIIMS seeking a diet plan for the AAP chief, said Mr Kejriwal had been consuming high-sugar food such as “sweets, laddoos, bananas, mangoes, fruit chaat, fried food, namkeen, bhujia, sweetened tea, poori-aloo, pickles and other high cholesterol food on a regular basis,” the report said.

The diet plan provided by AIIMS has “strictly prohibited” most of the food items he was eating, it added. Mr Kejriwal was only allowed to consume 20 ml of oil per day in his food. The Tihar administration has said, according to a government circular, no referral can be made to any private hospital, as was being demanded by Mr Kejriwal for videoconferencing with his doctor.

The administration submitted in its report that there was adequate availability of insulin in the jail dispensary and it could be administered to Mr Kejriwal “as and when required.”

(Manas Dasgupta)



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