Even with e-pass, man stopped at border post in MP dies of heart attack

He was being taken to a hospital in Chhattisgarh


State apathy and absolute disregard for human life claimed life of another man during lockdown.  

Keshav Mishra, a 78-year-old man from Madhya Pradesh’s Umaria who was being taken to a hospital in Chhattisgarh, died of a heart attack after being help up at a border post for over an hour by the police who not only first refused to acknowledge his e-pass, but also raised objections over the route taken, The Indian Express reported.

As though the tragedy wasn’t enough, the family had to face a harrowing time from the police personnel who accused them of travelling with a corpse. His sons, Rakesh Mishra, an employee of the government-run South Easter Coalfields (SECL) and Nilesh Mishra were taking him for treatment on Tuesday. Their mother too was with them and they had acquired an e-pass to travel through the state.

Initially the brothers had decided to take Mishra to Bilaspur but they decided to divert the car to Manendragarh in Koriya district as he had started feeling uneasy. Rakesh said, “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.”

They were stopped by policemen at the Koriya border. “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,” said Rakesh.

It was reported that at one point, the senior citizen had to himself step out of the car and implore the police with folded hands, but to no avail, said several witnesses.

However, Rakesh said that by the time they had gotten the approval to pass through, 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 state administration too claimed that Mishra had passed away before reaching the check-post. SDM RP Chauhan who arrived at the scene also supported the police authorities. Only after a hue and cry was created, the police called for an ambulance and sent Mishra’s body home. 

Just like this, while the country is busy fighting Covid-19, it has absolutely put on the backburner, the health of millions of others who are battling with other illnesses. New orders for inter-state travel and emergencies are being put out and revised at alarming rates and hardly any of this information reaches the ground. It has been reported that people travelling to another state in case of a medical emergency may need to acquire permission from the destination state too depending on the state’s guidelines, but in case of an emergency like Mishra’s, who decides what comes first, following orders or saving lives? Or is it that everyone like Mishra is just collateral damage counted in by the State?


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