Scores of residents of Kahnuwan blocked traffic on the Gurdaspur-Sri Hargobindpur state highway for more than six hours on Thursday after a youth, injured in a road accident, died due to alleged lack of timely medical aid at the local hospital.
After the news about the youth's death reached his native town, irate residents ransacked the local hospital and broke windowpanes and threw away medicines lying there.
Mohan Lal, father of deceased youth Kamal Jyoti, said that his son along with two friends Deepa and Aju were proceeding towards Chack Sharif village on Thursday morning when their motorcycle collided with a car, resulting in serious injuries to all three.
"When I reached the accident spot, I was shocked to see my son lying in a pool of blood. The emergency ward of the local hospital was found closed due to non-availability of any doctor.
Somehow, we called up the senior medical officer, who immediately referred the three injured to Gurdaspur hospital. Unfortunately, my son succumbed to his injuries," Mohan Lal rued.
Raising slogans against the health department, the protesters took out a protest march through the main markets of Kahnuwan and resorted to a sit-in at Sathiali bridge on the Gurdaspur-Sri
Hargobindpur road and demanded action against health staff whose laxity led to the death of Kamal Joyti.
The protesters alleged that lack of medical facilities had led to two deaths in the town in the last two days. On Wednesday, a pregnant woman was taken to local hospital for delivery but was referred to Gurdaspur due to lack of specialist doctor. She also died on the way.
The protesters lifted the 'dharna' only after Gurdaspur SDM Tejinderpal Singh Sandhu and civil surgeon Vinod Beri reached the spot and assured them that all posts lying vacant in the hospital would be filled soon.
Town residents have been demanding for the last four days the posting of specialist doctors at the lone hospital in the area, which caters to the health and medical needs of residents of 150 nearby villages.