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Blockade during visit blamed for death, Kovind conveys grief

The Kanpur Police Commissionerate sought “forgiveness” and said the incident was “a big lesson for the future”. Tweeting from its official handle, it said the President had “expressed distress” over the death.

Written by Asad Rehman | Lucknow |
June 27, 2021 4:16:21 am
Kanpur Police, Ram Nath Kovind, COVID-19, kanpur, UP covid-19 cases, Kanpur coronavirus cases, ram nath kovind news, president of india, indian expressKanpur Police Commissioner Asim Arun, other officials with the family of Vandana Mishra. (Twitter @kanpurnagarpol)

A 50-YEAR-OLD woman suffering from post-Covid complications died on her way to hospital in Kanpur on Friday evening, allegedly while she was caught in traffic for almost two hours due to road blockades that had been set up for President Ram Nath Kovind’s convoy.

The Kanpur Police Commissionerate sought “forgiveness” and said the incident was “a big lesson for the future”. Tweeting from its official handle, it said the President had “expressed distress” over the death.

Vandana Mishra, chairperson of the women’s wing of the Indian Industries Association’s (IIA) Kanpur chapter, was on her way to a private hospital when her vehicle was stuck in traffic, between the Nand Lal intersection and Govindpuri flyover in the city.

“There was a lot of traffic and several roads were blocked because of the President’s visit to Kanpur. It took us nearly two hours to reach the hospital, a distance which normally takes 20-30 minutes. Some policemen tried to help us and let our vehicle pass, but because the traffic jam was so long, we couldn’t get through,” said her husband, Sharad Mishra (58).

“At the hospital, doctors declared her dead on arrival, and said she could have been saved if she had been brought 20 minutes earlier,” he said.

In a tweet, the Kanpur Police Commissionerate said: “Honourable President expressed distress over the untimely death of Vandana Mishra. He called the Kanpur Police Commissioner and District Magistrate to inquire about the incident and expressed grief. He instructed the officials to ensure that his message reaches the family”. It said the officials had attended the funeral and conveyed Kovind’s message.

“Kanpur City Police and I personally seek forgiveness… This is a big lesson for the future. We pledge to ensure that our route arrangement is such that citizens have to wait for the least amount of time so that such incidents are not repeated,” tweeted the Kanpur Police Commissionerate.

Kanpur Police Commissioner Asim Arun said four police personnel had been suspended for holding up traffic beyond the allotted time. “There should be no problems to citizens due to security, especially in cases of medical emergencies. We are taking steps to improve arrangements so that such an incident does not happen again,” he said in a statement.

Kanpur Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B B G T S Murthy said the incident was being investigated.

A police officer said several roads were blocked due to VIP movement on Friday. Both Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel were in the city to welcome Kovind. He said the road where Mishra’s vehicle got stuck was among the routes which had to be blocked as part of the security protocol.

Speaking to The Indian Express, IIA Kanpur Divisional Chairman Alok Agarwal said Mishra had tested positive in early April, and had developed post-Covid complications.

He said Mishra had gone to the hospital on Friday morning for some tests. She returned home around 4 pm, but complained of nausea and uneasiness around 6 pm, he said.

“Then they again left for the hospital. They got delayed because there was so much traffic. She vomited while she was in the vehicle,” he said, adding that one of her family members, a doctor, even performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

The cremation was carried out on Saturday morning. Mishra is survived by her husband and two sons Varad (27) and Utsav (22).

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