Kashmir Indepth

Hospital staff goes on strike after police stops ambulance for 95 minutes in Lolab

Jehangir Lolabi

Srinagar, Jan 24 : Most of the staff at Sub District Hospital Sogam on Thursday observed for half an hour protest against stopping of an ambulance by Special Operation Group (SOG) of Police for 95 minutes in northern Kupwara district.

Hospital staff told that one ambulance (Sumo type) bearing number JK09A-0812 of SDH Sogam Lolab after dropping a patient at Khodi Gagal was stopped for about 95 minutes by SOG Naka party near Badibera area.

“Two policemen stopped the ambulance. Despite requests by the driver, police kept him waiting,” they said.

“The policemen even took the key from the driver,” they said. Later BMO Dr Firdous on being informed by the driver reached the area and urged the police to allow the ambulance as it was against high court and supreme court guidelines.

However, they said, that police did not allow the ambulance to go despite the request. Thereafter, they said, the BMO left and kept the ambulance there.

On hearing about it, the staff went on strike and in the meantime, SHO concerned reached the hospital and urged them to call off the strike and also assured action against the erring cops. “He brought the ambulance to the hospital on his own,” they said following which the staff called off the strike.

They said at the time of the incident, the theatre was open and a number of surgeries were conducted. Halting of Ambulance by these policemen for 95 minutes risked the lives of these operated patients, the staff said.

BMO Dr Firdous told said that he tried his best to persuade policemen to allow the ambulance but they did not paid heed.

“After they refused to allow the ambulance, I left it there,” Dr Firdous said, adding, “Later SHO concerned visited the hospital and assured he will take action against the erring policemen.”

A senior police officer refuted the allegations and said that there was a Naka set up in the area in wake of the January 26.

“The ambulance was stuck in a queue and the policemen tried their best to ensure that the ambulance is let go on priority,” the police officer said.

The hospital staff, meanwhile, demanded an investigation and action against the policemen who stopped the ambulance. (GNS)

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