Ambulance halt controversy, Div Com orders inquiry

KL Report

SRINAGAR

The divisional commissioner Kashmir Shalindera Kumar on Thursday ordered a time bound inquiry into the ambulance halt controversy which allegedly took away life of a Handwara patient on December 10.

“I have ordered inquiry headed by deputy commissioner Baramulla. The DC Baramulla has been asked to submit his report within two days,” Mr Kumar informed KNS on phone.

Pertinently, a patient suffering from serious cardiac ailment passed away at SKIMS allegedly due to inordinate delay created by mobile magistrate North Kashmir on December 9.

The ambulance according to its driver Nazir Ahmad was halted for almost half-an-hour at Seelu Sopore allegedly for using a wrong siren.

“I was ferrying the patient from Handwara to SKIMS. As I reached Seelu Sopore, the authorities stopped me and opened all the lights and siren of ambulance. They kept the siren near ambulance tyre and asked me to break the same,” Nazir Ahmad, the ambulance driver working in Handwara district hospital had told KNS on phone.

He further stated that the authorities made the ambulance wait for more than 30 minutes and that he repeatedly requested the officials about the critical condition of the patient but to no avail. “I requested them several times that the patient is in a critical condition with a major cardiac attack but they made me to wait on the road side and smashed the siren.”

The reports received by Kashmir News Service said that a 60-year-old Abdul Rahman Dar, resident of Yansoo Handwara was admitted at District hospital Handwara under MRD number 11408, dated December 9, 2013. The doctors at the district hospital after diagnosing the patient of having suffered due to major cardiac arrest had referred him to SKIMS.

However, on December 11, the Mobile Magistrate North Kashmir told KNS that there was no patient in the ambulance bearing number JK05A 3402which was stopped by him at Seelu Sopore during a routine check.

Taking to KNS, Manzoor Ahmad Khan, the Mobile Magistrate Baramulla, Kupwara and Sopore said: “The ambulance which was halted for five minutes was ferrying no patient but few passengers including a woman.”

Mr Khan added that the driver of the Sumo Type ambulance was stopped by his team after he created nuisance by using continuous siren despite the directions to stop the siren.

“I was on my duty checking the vehicles at the spot. The driver indulged in heated arguments with my team members who came to me saying that there was no patient inside the ambulance. Later I directed my team to open its siren and let the vehicle go. The whole process took five minutes and the vehicle was allowed to go. Otherwise, I was well within my powers to seize the vehicle,” Mr Khan told KNS.

The Mobile Magistrate North Kashmir also clarified that the checking at Seelu was not conducted by the traffic police but by his team. “The traffic department has been unnecessarily been dragged into this issue. It was me who was conducting on road checking at Seelu.”

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