New Delhi, Aug 14: A 50-year-old man died on way to hospital here on Saturday because his vehicle had to take a long detour due to diversions caused by Independence Day preparations, his family said.
Kailash Chandra of Gandhi Nagar in east Delhi suffered a heart attack around 7.30 a.m. His sons hired an autorickshaw to rush him to Lady Irwin Hospital in central Delhi, about six kilometres away.
"Usually it takes around 10 minutes to reach the hospital from Gandhi Nagar but it took us over one-and-a-half hours due to diversions," Arvind Kumar, one of the sons, told IANS.
He alleged that police turned down his desperate pleas to let him take his father to the hospital through the shortest route.
Police said this was not possible as the full dress rehearsal for the Independence Day parade was on, he said.
"Today I lost my father because of Delhi Police and their security arrangements," Arvind Kumar said. "Security is meant for the safety of the people. I did not expect such inhuman behaviour."
According to Arvind Kumar, 24, the autorickshaw was stopped soon after they crossed Geeta Colony bridge in east Delhi and again on Vikas Marg due to which they had to take a 22-km diversion via Sarai Kale Khan.
"The doctors in the hospital told us that if we had reached 30 minutes earlier, they could have saved my father," he said.
Although in distress, Arvind Kumar thanked the autorickshaw driver for not refusing to take his father to the hospital despite the diversions and police harassment.
"At least the auto drivers are more sensible than our police," he said.
Arvind Kumar, a salesman with a private firm, said his family comes from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and his father was a caretaker of a building in east Delhi.
Sandeep Goel, Special Commissioner (Traffic), told IANS: "It is very unfortunate such an incident happened. We came to know about it through the media."
He said traffic was indeed restricted on the stretch from Geeta Colony towards Shanti Van on Ring Road but the police had allowed an ambulance to cross it in the morning on the same route.
The police would have directed them towards the diverted route as the family was in an autorickshaw and not in an ambulance, he said.