Police out-post in GRH needs to be upgraded and adequate strength deployed to handle emergencies, writes L. Srikrishna

In the last few days alone, the flash strike by college students on two occasions resulted in a traffic jam on the Panagal Road. As a result, vehicular movement was paralysed on other adjacent stretches which posed problems to public wanting to reach the Government Rajaji Hospital for emergencies, doctors say.

Mukil Arasan, a student of a private polytechnic institute in Virudhunagar was admitted to the GRH, where he had died two days ago. As the news spread, about 300 students from the polytechnic boarded the Chennai bound trains at Virudhunagar and arrived here. Not in a mood to take any chance, the police transported the students from Madurai Railway Station to the GRH, permitted them to see the body of their hostel-mate. After this, the students were taken in the police vehicles to the integrated bus stand at Maatuthavani and were put on buses bound to Virudhunagar. Till 1 a.m., policemen and officers were on the roads, a senior officer said.

In less than 10 hours, yet another death of a college student Ramesh (18), who was bitten by a snake, caused anger among his friends and well-wishers. The students alleged that the doctors and para-medical staff could have saved Ramesh if they had given proper attention and took to the roads.

Despite warnings, when the students blocked vehicles, police had to chase them away with lathis. Though many students ran to safety, 14 were detained. They were let off only after their parents’ gave an assurance that the students would not resort to such illegal acts.

Disturbing trend

Some of the doctors said that they were pained to see the students forcibly taking away the body of Ramesh to the road. After conducting post-mortem, when it was sent to the mortuary, the students came in a group and seized the body. “This is not expected from college students. Let them protest and express their anguish… We do not stop them,” para-medical staff at the hospital said. The police out-post in the GRH premises may be upgraded and adequate strength deployed to ensure that medical emergency cases wanting to reach the premises did not suffer due to such sudden stir, which takes every one by surprise. At least three ambulances, transporting accident victims from different directions found it difficult in reaching the GRH, a traffic police said.