Radiation victims plan legal action against DU

Express May 19, 2010

NEW DEHLI: Deepak and Ajay Jain, the two scrap dealers who were battling for life at Army hospital till a month ago, now plan to take legal action against Delhi University (DU), which had auctioned a gamma irradiator along with Cobalt 60 isotope without any warnings, reported Times of India (TOI).

“We have decided to take move court against those responsible for our condition. We almost lost our life. People who disposed of the isotope in DU must have been aware of its dangerous side-effects. They should have taken necessary precautions,” said Ajay Jain, who carried a small piece of the isotope in his wallet for more than a month.

All set to get discharged from the Army hospital on Wednesday, Deepak Jain says that he is worried about the future. “Though I feel much better now, I know that I am prone to medical complications in future,” said Deepak. According to TOI, Brig Velu Nair, head of department of haematology at Army hospital, said that both the victims’ bone marrows were terribly suppressed. Deepak and Ajay had just 5% and 15% of unaffected bone marrow respectively.

However, because of their improved conditions, doctors say surgery is not necessary at the moment. The victims’ family members say that life has changed drastically ever since the two were diagnosed with radiation exposure. “There is no business happening in Mayapuri right now and we don’t know when Ajay will be able to get back to work,” said Vipin Jain, Ajay’s brother to TOI.

When asked whether if he remembers the person who sold the isotope to him, Deepak said, “It was a local scrap dealer and it is difficult to identify him, as we deal with more than 20 dealers on a daily basis. Now we will be careful.”

Published in the Express Tribune, May 20th, 2010.


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