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New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that a newborn allegedly died as the ambulance carrying him could not reach the hospital as it got stuck in the rally of a political party at Sonipat, Haryana, on August 22, 2018.

The NHRC has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana, calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks along with the details of the relief and rehabilitation provided to the aggrieved family. The Director General of Police, Haryana, has been directed to submit a report regarding steps taken on the FIR registered in the matter and present status of the investigation of the case, according to an NHRC release.

It has also directed the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, to submit a report within four weeks making it mandatory to equip all ambulances, be it owned by government or outsourced or owned by private hospitals, with the life saving devices.

The Commission has observed that the TV grabs reveal that it was a state government ambulance and apparently if the traffic was normal, the life of the innocent newborn, perhaps, could have been saved and his Right to Life would have not been violated. The incident seems to be indicative of the negligence by the administration and police officials controlling the traffic. 

It is further observed that this is not the first painful incident in which a human life has been lost due to agitation, political rally or VIP movement on the roads. There is a dire need to deeply analyse the problem and take effective measures to ensure that precious human lives are not lost due to such activities obstructing smooth flow of traffic on the roads especially the ambulance and the emergency services vehicles.

This incident has two issues (i) lack of provision for the separate specific passage for ambulance vehicles so that life of the ill person could be saved, (ii) compulsory provision for emergency equipment like oxygen cylinders etc in all ambulance.

According to the media reports, the family members of the infant have alleged that they were stuck in the traffic jam for 45 minutes because of ongoing rally and there was no provision for oxygen in the ambulance. The newborn was referred to Sonipat and from there to Rohtak hospital but he died on the way as the family reached hospital late by one and a half hours. It is also reported that the ambulance staff claimed that they pressed the siren several times on the blocked road for a way but all in vain. 

An FIR u/s 304A and 177 of Motor Vehicles Act has been registered with Kundli police station and the investigating team will comprise Additional Superintendent of Police, Station House Officer, and two Inspecting officers.

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