Trail of death in PM security detail

Inconvenient convoy
Last Updated 09 July 2010, 19:25 IST

An eight-year-old child bled to death as he could not be taken to hospital on time owing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s obtrusive security paraphernalia that imposed traffic restrictions during his Kanpur visit earlier this month.

The grievous loss of her only son has forced the child’s mother, Usha Sharma, to appeal to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to ensure that such incidents do not recur. The family alleged that the child could have been saved had he reached the hospital a couple of minutes early.

This is the second time in eight months that the Prime Minister’s security apparatus, which is overseen by the Special Protection Group, has caused death because of disruption to routine traffic movement.

VVIP security, always a huge public inconvenience, had claimed the life of a 32-year-old man, Sumit Verma, who died of kidney failure in November last year after he was denied entry to Chandigarh’s premier Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education after his condition deteriorated.

At that time, Verma’s relatives alleged that following a two-hour struggle they managed to wind their way to the hospital gate but were blocked by Chandigarh policemen who were manning the outer perimetre of the multi-layered security ring.

That incident does not seem to have sensitised the men responsible for providing security to Singh. Usha Sharma, the mother of eight-year-old Aman, has shot off a letter to Sonia, urging her to ensure that no child dies because of VVIP security curbs in the future. She has also sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.

According to reports, Aman sustained injuries on his head after a steel gate fell on him at home. As the child was bleeding profusely, the family wanted to rush to the nearest hospital through the shortest route.

The family vehicle was, however, stopped near a crossing and Aman’s relatives were told they could not proceed further as there were traffic curbs owing to the Prime Minister’s visit. They were directed to take an alternate route, which was long and busy.

“We begged the officials to allow us to proceed as Aman was bleeding profusely, but they did not listen,” Aman’s father Tasdud Husain said. “We could have reached the hospital in five minutes through the short route but it took us an hour to reach there, and by that time Aman had died,” Usha Sharma claimed.

(Published 09 July 2010, 10:29 IST)

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