The family of the young man who died at the PGIMER hospital in Chandigarh for want of timely treatment during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit on Wednesday demanded compensation, but authorities and police denied that the stringent security had anything to do with his death.
Sumit Prakash Verma, 32, who was suffering from renal failure and other complications, allegedly died on Tuesday outside the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh because the security measures for the prime minister's visit barred entry to the hospital.
Verma, who was brought here from Ambala, 45 km away, is survived by his wife and two minor children.
His outraged family has demanded that they be given compensation and also a job to a kin as it was the prime minister's security that delayed his reaching the PGIMER for treatment.
"We want the government to do something for the family," Verma's relative Dheeraj said.
Tight security measures were in place and some roads and parking areas were blocked by the police during the prime minister's six-hour visit to the city, where he owns a house and has worked five decades ago.
But many complained that they could not access the hospital even as the prime minister was telling PGIMER faculty and doctors during the institute's 30th convocation to reach out to the common person.
As the controversy intensifies, PGIMER's chief security officer P.C. Sharma said that during the prime minister's visit, no patient was stopped from entering the institute, regarded as one of the best public sector medical facilities in north-western India.
"They could have been diverted to the wrong gate. No one was stopped from entering the PGIMER," Sharma told IANS.
The Chandigarh police also claimed that the patient's car was not stopped. A police spokesperson said the vehicle was, in fact, escorted to the emergency wing of the PGIMER.
Police claimed that the PGIMER emergency catered to 32 patients between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday compared to an average of 22 patients since Oct 31. The prime minister was in the complex from 11.30 a.m. till 2.30 p.m.
Verma was brought to a local private charitable hospital here Tuesday morning where doctors advised the family to rush him to PGIMER as his condition was serious.
An executive magistrate here recorded his wife's statement.