Covid-19: Probe ordered into ambulance driver’s death after assault by policeman
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Police have ordered an inquiry into the death of an ambulance driver on Friday afternoon after he was allegedly beaten up by the police on allegations of ferrying passengers illegally in his ambulance.
Additional commissioner Ramnath Pokale of Pimpri Chinchwad police said “ A DCP rank officer has been appointed to probe the incident and inquire into the allegations.”
The 50-year-old driver Naresh Shinde died soon after he was allegedly hit hard on the back with a lathi by a policeman on duty at Talegaon phata, his son Nilesh Shinde, who was accompanying him, said. The ambulance was headed from Thane to Ahmednagar district when it was stopped at the Talegaon phata on the Mumbai-Pune highway, said Nilesh.
“We were stopped at Talegaon phata by the police and beaten up on allegation that we were ferrying passengers illegally. My father pleaded that we were carrying a patient to Ahmednagar, but the police did not listen and let us go only after we paid a bribe of Rs 3,000,” said Nilesh.
“They beat us with lathis. My father was hit hard on the back with a lathi and soon after, he fell silent and died as he did not get any medical attention,” he said.
The police were at the check-post to prevent illegal transportation of people from one place to another to prevent escalation of Covid-19 in the state.
Nilesh said that he and his father were residents of Thane and both were ambulance drivers. The ambulance was providing service to the Thane Civil Hospital.
While a video clip of a sobbing Nilesh narrating the incident went viral on social media, over the last few days, policemen in Pune and other parts of the country have come in for sharp criticism for caning people to enforce curfew orders.
Pune Police chief K Venkatesham had recently directed policemen to refrain from using the lathi.