Srinagar, Nov 17: The district authorities in Kishtwar did not offer helicopter service to a two-year-old baby since his father “did not write for it”, District Commissioner, Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana, said on Saturday.
Asked why the child, who eventually died, wasn’t airlifted to Jammu if the critical care ambulance was not available, the DC told The Kashmir Monitor: “They had not written an application (for the chopper service). The critical care ambulance was already on the road coming back from Jammu after ferrying another patient.”
As reported by News18.com on Saturday, the labourer, Mohammad Sultan, lost his ailing son, Manan, on Thursday evening after the district administration failed to provide him a critical-care ambulance.
Manan was suffering from acute pneumonia and his father, with help of a local NGO ‘Ababeel’, approached the DC after the Kishtwar hospital referred the child to a Jammu Hospital.
The DC, however, said the chopper service too was not available after 3pm in Kishtwar.
“The NGO approached me for a critical care ambulance at around 4pm.”
“I can only request higher authorities for a chopper when there is an accident. And in this case, I did not,” he said.
The child was eventually carried in a general ambulance not before locals had to pool money as the hospital ferried patients only if they paid up the fuel charges.
Manan passed away in Jammu.
Sultan, as per the report, had to discreetly carry his dead son back to Kishtwar in a passenger vehicle, covering 230 kilometres.
The incident triggered massive protests in Kishtwar with people demanding action against the erring officials.