A78-year-old man from Madhya Pradesh being taken to a hospital in Chhattisgarh died of a heart attack after being held up at a border post for over an hour by policemen who first refused to acknowledge his e-pass, and later raised objections over the route.
Even after his death, the family had to face a harrowing time from the police personnel there who accused them of travelling with a corpse.
Umaria resident Keshav Mishra was being taken for treatment to Chhattisgarh by his sons Rakesh Mishra, an employee of government-run South Eastern Coalfields (SECL), and Nilesh Mishra on Tuesday. The septuagenarian was also accompanied by his wife. The family had an e-pass to travel to the state.
Though the plan was to take him to Bilaspur, the brothers decided to divert the car to Manendragadh in Koriya district as their father had started feeling uneasy. “We had crossed Dhanpuri and Manendrgarh was hardly 90 km away, while Bilaspur was nearly 200 km away. Since Manendragarh has a dedicated SECL hospital, we decided to take him there,” Rakesh said.
At the Koriya border, they were stopped by policemen. “First they were angry that I didn’t have a printed pass. They said they don’t accept e-pass. After a lot of arguing, when they decided to see my pass, they started telling me I had come the wrong way to go to Bilaspur,” he said.
At one point, the senior citizen had to step out of the car himself and beseech the police with folded hands, but to no avail, several witnesses confirmed.
According to Rakesh, by the time someone approved their passage, his father had died of a heart attack. “It had been more than an hour that we had stood at the border post, and then my mother started screaming. I ran to the car, to see my brother trying to revive him with CPR, but he had died,” he said. “After my father died, the sub-inspector on duty started abusing me, telling me I had been hiding a dead body,” he added.
The district and the state administration claimed the elderly man had died before he reached the checkpost. The statement also said authorities called an ambulance as soon as they were made aware of the situation. Koriya collector Doman Singh was unavailable for a comment. Divisional commissioner Emil Lakda said he had asked for a report from the Koriya collector and is investigating the incident.