Kochi: The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has initiated steps to suspend the licence of the car driver who allegedly obstructed an ambulance, which was shifting an infant with breathing problems to the Government Medical College at Kalamassery.
Media reports said that Nirmal Jose, a 27-year-old civil engineering diploma holder and resident of Power House Road in Aluva, appeared before the Aluva Joint Regional Transport Officer (RTO) on Friday afternoon for hearing.
“We have decided to suspend the licence the duration of which will be decided in consultation with the Deputy Transport Commissioner. The accused will also be sent for a three-day attitudinal and behavioural training at our Drivers’ Training and Research Institute at Edappal,” Aluva Joint RTO CS Ayyappan told media houses. He said it was hard to believe Jose’s claim that he did not intend to obstruct the ambulance but was piloting to clear way for it.
Meanwhile, the Edathala police have registered a suo motu case under Section 279 of the IPC (Rash driving or riding on a public way) against the accused after a video of the incident went viral on social media.
Jose along with his two relatives had turned up in his mini SUV, which he was driving at the time of the incident, at the Edathala police station on Thursday night. “He was arrested and released on station bail. The vehicle remains in our custody, and the accused will have to file a claim petition in the court to get it released,” police sources said.
But the police will object to the claim petition unless the inquiry is completed. They will have to take the statement of the ambulance driver and the family of the infant who was inside the ambulance as part of the inquiry. “We feel his [Jose’s] ignorance caused the unfortunate incident, and he realised the seriousness of his act only when we told him,” police sources said.
Meanwhile, Jose remains in a state of shock on finding himself a hate figure overnight after the video of his act went viral on social media. He reiterated that he was only piloting for the ambulance and had done it only for about one-and-a-half kilometres up to the Cochin Bank Junction.
He came to know about the storm he had kicked up after a stranger from abroad collected his number and rang him up to berate him over his action two days after the incident. “I got another 10 to 15 calls from strangers, and I tried to explain to them that I was not obstructing the ambulance,” said Jose who eventually had to switch off his phone.
The ambulance driver’s friend reportedly uploaded the video on social media. Jose spoke to the ambulance driver and tried to get the video off the social media, but in vain. He also claimed to have inquired about the infant’s condition through his friends out of concern.