| Protesters vandalise the ambulance and smash liquor bottles in Gaya on Thursday. Picture by Suman |
A Dial 102 ambulance was vandalised on Thursday after the vehicle was found carrying liquor bottles in two cartons and a suitcase.
The ambulance belonging to Belaganj primary health centre (PHC) in Gaya takes expectant mothers to hospital.
Around 12noon, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members, staging a road blockade in front of Magadh divisional commissioner R.K. Khandelwal’s office, spotted the liquor bottles inside the ambulance. The activists were demanding starting admission in professional and vocational courses at the Magadh University headquarters and other colleges under the varsity. Spotting the activists, the driver of the ambulance blew the siren to avail the benefit of emergency service and get past them.
However, when the cartons of liquor were spotted and no patient could be seen, the activists went on the rampage and smashed the bottles. Driver Ramendra Kumar and emergency medical technician Pramod Kumar, however, managed to escape leaving the vehicle behind.
Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ganesh Kumar and city superintendent of police (SP) Chandan Kushwaha rushed to the spot with a force and brought the situation under control.
According to reports, the ambulance had left Belaganj PHC for Prabhavati Hospital around 9.30am on Thursday carrying a pregnant woman. After dropping her, the vehicle was scheduled to head back to the PHC. Sources said there was a wedding at Belaganj, and the duo had picked up the bottles for the celebration. One carton consists of 12 bottles. Regional deputy director (health) Rajendra Prasad said the Dial 102 ambulance’s controlling authority is the State Health Society, Bihar.
In Gaya, there are 24 Dial 102 ambulances, which include 22 in different PHCs and one each for Prabhavati Hospital and Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital.
Sources added that only the name and address of the patient are registered in the register by the ambulance driver at the PHC or the hospital where it is stationed. “The Belaganj PHC in-charge would lodge an FIR with the Civil Lines police station against the driver and the emergency medical technician,” Prasad said.
SP Kushwaha said the ambulance had been seized. Belaganj PHC in-charge Feroz Ahmad has lodged an FIR against the driver and the technician. The Dial 102 ambulances are run in the state by Dr Jain Video on Wheels Ltd.
The company’s Magadh divisional manager, Sunil Kumar, said the driver and the technician would be terminated from service. “An FIR would be lodged against the ABVP activists for damaging the ambulance,” he said.