Rats bite off officer’s toe at Army hospital

ARMY

A young lieutenant who led an operation in Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir in which two militants were killed less than a month ago, had his toe bitten off by rats at the Army Base Hospital in the capital on Saturday.

The 24-year-old officer belonging to the elite 9 Para (The Indian Express is not naming him to protect his identity) suffered a bullet injury in the spine during the Handwara encounter on September 25, which left him paralysed from below the waist.

The lieutenant was brought to Army Base Hospital here for treatment. On Saturday night, after he was moved from the intensive care unit to the rehabilitation centre of the hospital, his toe was reportedly chewed off by rats.

With his lower body being paralysed, the officer did not realise that his toe had been bitten off. The incident was discovered only this morning after the medical staff noticed that his foot was bleeding. A close examination revealed bite marks that confirmed that the toe had been chewed off by rats.

The officer is now undergoing preventive treatment for rabies. While there have been complaints of rodents in the hospital in the past, this is the first case of rats causing serious injury to a patient.

An outraged military community has registered a strong protest at the hospital. Sources in the Army said the incident is being viewed very seriously and an informal inquiry has begun to fix responsibility.

"We are very concerned. Strict action will be taken against those found responsible," said a senior Army officer.

It is believed that some heads will roll at the Army Base Hospital, given that the incident took place in what is considered to be one of the better Army hospitals in the country.

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