Red-tape denies parents to meet dying son in Assam

Shillong, May 1 (IANS) Caught in the red-tape amid the ongoing lockdown, parents of 34-year-old Deepak Das could not be with their critically ailing son who succumbed to Hepatorenal Syndrome (liver ailment) at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Thursday night.

Even as Das struggled for life, his stranded parents in Shillong could not get a car pass and inter-state permits from the Meghalaya government to be able to see their son.
The heartbroken parents were eventually issued the necessary passes on Friday, a day after Deepak’s death.
Kamala Das, the mother of ailing Deepak, had applied for a vehicle pass and other permission with the Extra Assistant Commissioner of East Khasi Hills District in Shillong to travel to her home-town Hojai district in central Assam on Wednesday after she learnt over the phone that the health condition of her son had turned “very critical”.
“I applied for the car pass and necessary permission letter on Wednesday to the office of the Extra Assistant Commissioner (of East Khasi Hills District). The papers went to the Deputy Commissioner, and then to the Deputy Secretary of the Political Department in Meghalaya Secretariat. I took up my case with many officials and informed them about the emergency, but they did not issue the pass before my son died in GMCH on Thursday,” the sobbing mother told IANS over phone from Shillong.
Kamala Das and her husband Subhash Chandra Das got stranded in Meghalaya in the run-up to lockdown after they went to Shillong to see their daughter, who is staying in the hill city along with her husband.
The permission letters and passes came on Friday after their son died and last rites were completed in Assam.
In her application, enclosed with the doctor’s certificate, Das had explained every detail about her ailing son, suffering from acute problem of liver cell disease with hepatorenal syndrome and at present under the treatment of a doctor in Hojai for a few years.
“In my application, I have also mentioned that as my son might be required to be shifted to the GMCH, and that we have to reach Hojai and Guwahati urgently to save our son’s life as there was no other member in our family for urgent medical care of the ailing boy,” the 54-years-old woman said.
East Khasi Hills District Deputy Commissioner Matsiewdor War Nongbri said his department had no authority to issue all such passes and permits.
“We are receiving requests for vehicle passes, but we don’t have the authority. We forward the applications which are beyond our jurisdiction to the Political Department which takes appropriate steps as per government rules, policies and practice,” Nongbri said.
She said many vehicle passes had to be cancelled or seized as people misused them in the name of medical emergencies, for buying essential commodities or other reasons. “The police had also filed cases against the people who misused the authority letters,” the IAS officer said, expressing her regret in the Das case.
–IANS
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