In occupied Kashmir, policemen deployed at Kak Sarai Chowk near SMHS Hospital sealed both sides of the road and stopped the movement of dozens of vehicles including an ambulance that was carrying a patient in critical condition.
According to media sources, laying barricades and razor wires all across the road, the policemen didn’t gave passage to the ambulances that was going from SMHS to Soura hospital with a patient in serious condition.
When asked why the road had been closed, one of the policemen said that he had orders from senior officers not to allow anyone on this route. The blockade left many patients and their attendants stuck on the road in the scorching heat. Many of the stranded were on fast since dawn for Ramadan.
Clutching his chest, Ghulam Mohammad from Eidgah was one of the patients who were stuck in the centre of the road. He was being rushed to SMHS by his family after he complained pain in his chest. The car he was travelling in was not given the passage by the policemen despite his obvious health problem.
Hajira, another middle-aged patient who was being accompanied by her husband from Bemina, could do nothing but watch helplessly the heated exchange of arguments between policemen and stranded people. “My wife is fighting breathlessness, but they hardly seem to care,” her husband said of the policemen’s attitude.
Minutes later, an ambulance came out from the SMHS hospital. As per the driver, it was carrying a patient in critical condition to Soura hospital. The policemen, after facing pressure from people, tried to make way for the ambulance, but without letting any other vehicle pass. The police were trying to clear the way when, suddenly, all the barricades were removed to make way for a Central Reserve Police Force vehicle. Now forgetting the ambulance entirely, the policemen sprung into action to clear the way for the CRPF vehicle. They were joined by a few CRPF soldiers who came down from their vehicle to clear the road.
Directing everyone to keep aside, the CRPF soldiers together with the policemen successfully cleared the way for their vehicle. A few vehicles quickly followed the CRPF vehicle past the barricades, but seconds later the policemen again laid razor wires and barricades across the road. “Seal the road! I have just received a call from higher officials,” a police officer shouted.
Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar Imtiyaz Parray said that he was just following orders. “Such were the orders (to close the road) from the deputy commissioner. We just enforced them,” he said.