CHENNAI: Though e-pass is being issued by district administrations for medical tourists to return home, there have been multiple cases of police holding up vehicles for hours at inter-State borders. Recently C Manikantan, a cab driver from Vellore, got stranded for four days at Balasore on Odisha-West Bengal border.
Narrating the ordeal to Express, he said a woman, a chronic kidney patient, and three of her family members wanted to go back to their village in Ranchi district of Jharkhand. They had obtained an e-pass from the administration on April 20.
“As the Chittoor-Tirupati border was sealed, I took the Chennai route and was first stopped near the Tada junction for three hours, where police said their local SP’s permission was needed to travel. I showed them the e-pass and all the documents. But, they sent it all to the SP through WhatsApp and I had to wait for three hours,” Manikantan said.
However, more trouble was in store at Balasore. “I was nearly beaten up by the police. They did not value the e-pass and objected to four persons travelling by the same car. After pleading for hours, they let us pass. However, while returning, they stopped my vehicle and did not allow me to pass for four days. Without proper food and shelter, I was forced to live by the highway.”
A total of five cab drivers, all from Vellore, were also given similar treatment at Balasore. Deepesh, another cab driver, rued, “All of us were taking patients from different cities in Tamil Nadu to Kolkata, Kharagpur and Ranchi.”