GUWAHATI, Oct 1 - The ugly side of so-called police modernisation and smart policing was once again out in open when the men-in-khakis, in a bizarre turn of events, opted to take a seriously injured person to the hospital on a hand-cart in spite of having their patrolling vehicle at their disposal at the very spot.
The injured person, who hailed from a remote village of Kamrup district (Rangiya), eventually died.
Ironically, this happened on a day when the State is celebrating its 67th Assam Police Day, pledging to serve the common man better and bringing police closer to the people.
The incident took place around 5 am today when the deceased Abdul Ali, a driver, aged about 35 years, tried a role reversal and handed over the steering of the city bus to the handyman and himself decided to stand at the footboard of the bus, trying to do a handyman.
�Suddenly, the bus lost control and hit the railing of the flyover and Ali himself fell out of the bus. His legs, onlookers said, got stuck and after some time he fell from the bus to the railing and then under the flyover,� onlookers said.
Some of the bystanders availing the Dial 100 service, reportedly sought police help and even telephoned 108 ambulance service.
Although the incident took place barely a kilometre away from the Bhangagarh Police Station, it took them more than 20 minutes to respond, those who were witness to the incident alleged.
Police sources confirmed the development, saying that the injured was brought in a hand-cart because there was no vehicle available. The patrolling vehicle came from Khanapara and it was they who took the decision on the spot, sources pointed out. Meanwhile, records in the Dial 100 control room divulged that it was the patrolling vehicle of the Bhangagarh Police Station and not Khanapara.
Ali later succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead by the doctors of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. The handyman is absconding, police said.
People alleged that the police, instead of carrying the injured person in the vehicle for immediate treatment, depended on the hand-cart.
Questions are also being raised as to why the patient was not rushed to the Nemcare Hospital located just a few steps away from the spot, or why none of the policemen thought of bringing at least a stretcher from the private hospital to facilitate the injured person�s safe admission to the GMCH.
�The policemen numbering about four, came and after seeing the patient asked the hand-cart puller to carry the body to the hospital and themselves boarded the police vehicle. Does human life cost less than the vehicle?� questioned Binita, a local resident, who was out for her morning walk along with her pet on the GS Road and had witnessed the tragic turn of events.
She said, �I had even called for 108 ambulance service, but it did not arrive on time.�
�If this is what human rights means and this is how police are supposed to behave, then it is a shame on the part of our society, which we tend to term civilised,� another local resident, who did not want to be named, said.