UP: Dancer, shot for stopping performance, will need multiple surgeries
She was performing at a wedding function on November 30, paused to catch a breath, and her life took a deadly turn as she was shot at. And the road to recovery for Heena Khan has just begun. The dancer from Uttar Pradesh will have to undergo multiple surgeries. Since hospital bills are piling up, her family has a lot to deal with.
To recall, the incident happened in Tikra village of Chitrakoot district. The village head Sudhir Singh had hired an orchestra to perform at his daughter's wedding. Heena, who was performing with her colleagues, stopped dancing and a few minutes later, a bullet hit her jaw. The case got attention after its video went viral. Subsequently, Sudhir and his relative Phool Singh were arrested.
After she was shot at, Heena was rushed to Allahabad's Swaroop Rani hospital. But the staff informed that there was no surgeon around, as it was a Sunday. "So, we had to bring her to a private hospital in Lucknow. There was no help from police either," a woman named Radha, who saw the horror unfold, told TOI.
About Heena's injuries, the doctor who operated her said a large portion of her jaw was blown off. Dr. Firoz Khan said the injuries are such that she might never recover. The next surgery will happen six months later.
Notably, Heena hails from Agra's Tajganj area and got married last year in December. Since her family relied on her earnings for daily expenditure, the incident has become a double whammy for them. Her relatives, villagers, and extended family of nine somehow collected Rs. 7 lakh for treatment, but they will need more. "One bullet has killed nine of us," her sister said.
"She was our family's most beautiful woman and we easily got bookings for shows at weddings, birthdays and other family events. We are unable to bear her medical bills even after mortgaging our valuables and borrowing money from relatives," her mother-in-law said.
Days after Heena suffered at the hands of unruly men, Ramshankar Katheria, chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, promised she will be given all possible help. Katheria had said he would seek a report from the district magistrate of Chitrakoot and inquire about aid given to her. But the plight of Heena's family shows no one has actually stepped up.