Udayavni Special

Ambulances in Kerala come under scanner for ferrying people


Team Udayavani, Apr 12, 2020, 4:04 PM IST

image for representation

Thiruvananthapuram/Kozhikode: As the nationwide lockdown continues in the state, ambulances have come under police scanner after a few were seized for transporting people, instead of patients.

A case was registered against an ambulance driver by the police on Sunday at Parassala station near Tamil Nadu border in Thiruvananthapuram district for transporting people after charging them a huge amount.

“The driver initially told officials at the check-post that the vehicle was empty, but they found five passengers in the ambulance who were picked up from Pattom, a place inside Thiruvananthapuram city,” police said.

During the lockdown period, the ambulance was ferrying people from Kerala to Tamil Nadu and back, police said adding the vehicle was apprehended on Saturday midnight.

A case has been registered against the driver, Vijesh, and the five people who had violated the lockdown protocols.

“The ambulance has a sticker of Vaikunta Swami Dharma Pracharanasabha (VSDP), a local political party but the party officials denied that it belonged to them,” police said.

Another ambulance was caught on Saturday at Kozhikode district, which was transporting people from Ernakulam to Kasaragod.

“The ambulance travelled for around five hours and when it reached Kozhikode, police saw two people boarding it. This caused suspicion. The ambulance was seized by Elathur police after Kozhikode police informed them about their doubt,” police said.

The ambulance had nine people including two drivers.

Five passengers were from Ernakulam and two were from Kozhikode.

“A case has been registered against the driver and other passengers under various Acts including the Indian Penal Code, The Epidemic Act and the Motor Vehicles Act,” police said.

The ambulance was modified in such a manner that it looks like an ambulance but was able to transport people too, police said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had yesterday said strong action would be taken against those who misuse the essential services including ambulances.

“There was a news about certain persons who were caught at Kozhikode for travelling in an ambulance during the lockdown period. The vehicle was seized,” Vijayan had said.

The lockdown has left many people stranded at various parts of the state due to lack of public transport.

“The ambulance drivers were trying to make money in this situation,” a senior police official from Kozhikode said.

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