IDUKKI: A 68-year-old man, who was allegedly forced to alight from a private bus plying on the Vannapuram-Muvattupuzha stretch after he fell ill, died en route to hospital on Wednesday.
After he complained of chest pain and subsequently collapsed, the bus staff forced AE Xavier to alight at Njarakkadu in Ernakulam district, instead of rushing him to the nearest hospital.
According to sources, Xavier, who had boarded the bus from Vannapuram to Muvattupuzha, collapsed after the bus began its journey.
“The passenger had frothed at the mouth and none of the passengers came forward to offer help. Though a hospital was situated within a kilometre, the bus continued its journey for about 5 km. He was then brought out and put in an autorickshaw to find his way to a hospital. With the help of his friends, the auto driver rushed Xavier to hospital,” said a source.
The family of the deceased alleged that the bus driver and conductor avoided the responsibility of taking him to the nearest hospital and denied Xavier timely treatment.
“He was in pain and no one was with him. The way the bus driver and conductor behaved is inhumane. They could have taken him to the hospital which is just 4 km away from Njarakkad,” said Joby Xavier, son of the deceased.
Meanwhile, the Kaliyar police have registered a case under Section 174 of CrPC (unnatural death).
“We have started investigating the case since complaints have been raised by relatives. We will be looking into the matter seriously,” said a police official.
“There was no mistake from the bus staff; they stopped the bus and helped him by calling an autorickshaw. But unfortunately, the ill passenger died before reaching the hospital,” said a source.
A protest was organised by local residents at Kaliyar against what they termed as the lackadaisical attitude of the police.