The staff of the ‘108' ambulance service run by the government under the Kerala Emergency Medical Services Project (KEMP) went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday demanding action against Parassala MLA A.T. George for allegedly assaulting a driver of an ambulance at the Parassala Government Hospital on Monday night.

The free service rendered by the 25-odd ambulances in the district has come to a standstill. The operators of the service said they roped in the ‘1298 ambulance service' (paid service) to attend emergency calls. As many as five ambulances had been positioned at accident zones in the districts.

“A couple of cases were taken care of with alternative arrangements. But the calls were less on Tuesday,” an official said.

The staff went on a strike after a driver Noushad was allegedly assaulted by a group of people led by Mr. George around 10.30 p.m. The police said the refusal of Noushad to shift a patient, who was injured in a road accident, to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital led to the incident.

The driver reportedly told the relatives of the victim that the vehicle could not be operated as the tyres were not in a good condition. This infuriated the relatives.

Mr. George, who arrived at the hospital with some supporters, took up the issue with the driver but to no avail.

Parassala Sub-Inspector S. Vinod said one of the relatives of the patient assaulted Noushad when he tried to escape from a mob that had gathered there. The other staff of the ambulance, Ratish, a medical technician, was in the vehicle.

Later, the injured was shifted to the medical college in a private ambulance. Noushad and Ratish were admitted to the General Hospital.

A police team led by Mr. Vinod took a statement from the driver on the Parasala hospital premises. The police said Noushad did not say that the legislator assaulted him. He gave the statement that the legislator was in the group that assaulted him.

The Parassala police registered a case against 10 persons, including Mr. George, in connection with the incident.