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PM's visit halts traffic, patient dies on way to ER

November 03, 2009 16:45 IST

The family of a kidney patient on Tuesday alleged that he died as their vehicle failed to reach the emergency section of the PGIMER hospital in Chandigarh in time, due to the tight security measures put in place for the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The family of S P Verma, a resident of Ambala in Haryana, claimed that security personnel, including those from the Chandigarh police, deployed at the medical institute, did not allow their vehicle to reach the emergency room and kept diverting them from one place to another for nearly two hours.

"When we came near the PGI, he (Verma) was alive, but his condition deteriorated as we were made to run around for two hours as the movement of other vehicles had been stopped for the prime minister's convoy," alleged a relative of the 40-year-old patient.

She said the patient suffered from a kidney problem and was admitted in a private hospital in Chandigarh, from where he was being taken to the PGIMER, after he developed respiratory problems today morning.

The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying that it "is saddened at the death of a patient at the PGIMER, Chandigarh, today during the visit of the prime minister.

"A full report has been asked for," a PMO spokesman said in a statement. The prime minister had visited Chandigarh to attend the convocation of the PGIMER.

In view of the prime minister's visit to the PGIMER and the Punjab University, the Chandigarh police had made tight security arrangements. Traffic on several roads had been diverted and certain routes had been sealed for the PM's day-long visit.

No senior Chandigarh police officer could be contacted for a comment despite repeated attempts.

A senior PGIMER officer informed that the patient was 'brought dead' to the emergency room. The institute was trying to ascertain the details of the incident, he said.

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