While the mother has alleged that the police did not heed her requests to let them rush to the hospital, a police officer claimed that they were not informed about the emergency.

Telangana woman alleges her baby died because cops stopped car over challansSaraswathi
news Police Wednesday, June 01, 2022 - 19:49

A Telangana woman who lost her three-month-old baby to an ailment on May 31, Tuesday, has alleged that her child could not receive medical care in time because of a delay caused by traffic police who stopped the car they were travelling in over pending challans. Saraswathi and her husband Mallesham from Marigadi village in Jangaon were taking their baby to Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad on Tuesday in a rental car when their vehicle was stopped by traffic police near Vangapally village of Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district. Saraswathi alleged that despite their pleas to let them take their sick child to the hospital, police insisted that the driver pay the pending challans on the vehicle and kept them waiting for nearly 30 minutes. By the time they eventually reached the hospital, doctors said it was too late to save the child. 

“We were taking the baby to Niloufer Hospital when the car was stopped near Vangapally. Police seized the driver’s license and said they would return it only if he paid the pending challan. We said our child was in a serious condition and we needed to take him to the hospital urgently, yet they neglected us and refused to return the license. The doctors said they could have saved the child if we had reached even ten minutes early,” Saraswathi told the media. 

According to local media reports, after the baby recently fell ill, the parents visited a private hospital in Jangaon. As the baby’s condition worsened, they were advised to go to Niloufer Hospital. On their way, traffic police checked their vehicle number and reportedly found pending challans worth around Rs 1000. By the time the driver called the owner of the car and the matter was resolved, there was a delay of nearly half an hour, Saraswathi said, alleging that the negligence of the police claimed her child’s life. 

Yadagirigutta Traffic Inspector of Police S Saidaiah denied the allegation. The Inspector told TNM that a Sub-Inspector had found pending challans on their car as part of a routine check. “The driver said he would talk to the car owner, who said he’ll pay the fine online, after which they were let go. Neither the driver nor the passengers informed us that they were on their way to the hospital. If we knew that was the case, we wouldn’t have stopped them,” the Inspector claimed.  

He said that on hearing the news of the baby’s death, they verified Tuesday’s events. “The challans were drawn up around 11.10 am. They crossed a toll gate which was 27 km away from the location where the incident occurred at 11.54 am. They couldn’t have covered this distance so quickly if they had been held up for 30 minutes,” the Inspector said, claiming that the police hadn’t caused a long delay.  

Anil Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), responded to the allegation and said, “Following news of this incident we have instructed all our officers to be lenient in the case of an emergency or in case of a contingency situation.” He also added, "Generally, traffic police stop vehicles and check for challans not for the sake of money but with the hope to inculcate traffic discipline amongst commuters."

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