Press Trust of india

Man feigns death to reach home in Poonch

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Jammu:  In what sounds like a script from a Bollywood movie, a 60-year-old man feigned his own death so that he and his friends could reach their homes in Poonch district in an ambulance from here, but ran out of luck when a police party recorded their temperature and found him to be alive.

This is a story of Hakam Din who was admitted to Government Medical College here after suffering a head injury during a fight on March 27.

Din, who was discharged on March 30, managed to get a death certificate and he, along with his friends which included an ambulance driver, began their journey to Bufliaz, around 220 kms from here, on Tuesday.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Poonch, Ramesh Angral said all the five people, including the ambulance driver, were booked and sent to a quarantine facility under police guard.

Din, a resident of Sailian village, ran out of luck just a few kilometers from his residence when a police party intercepted the ambulance coming from Jammu at Bufliaz and subjected the occupants to screening for coronavirus and were shocked to find the “dead person” alive, officials said.

Like other checkpoints enroute from Jammu to Surankote, the driver produced the death certificate with a proper stamp and signature from the designated hospital authority to take the body of the ‘deceased’ home.

However, since the policemen and medical staff at the checkpoint were directed to check every vehicle carrying more than two persons and record their body temperature, they were stunned to find the man alive, the SSP said, adding that an investigation was underway to find how they managed to get their hands on the fake death certificate.

“Some days back, one individual who was injured during a fight was referred to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital Jammu for treatment. He was discharged from the hospital and with the help of his attendants managed a certificate and an ambulance to dodge the police restrictions (due to the lockdown),” the officer said.

The officials said a case under section 420 (cheating), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the five people.

They identified the driver of the ambulance, bearing Punjab registration number, as Abid Hussain of Thandkot village of Rajouri.

This is a first such case in Jammu and Kashmir which came under complete lockdown on March 22, two days ahead of the 21-days countrywide shutdown announced by the prime minister.

Only essential commodities and services are operational in the Union Territory, where a total of 55 people have tested positive for the disease. Two patients from Kashmir died of the disease, while two others have recovered so far.

Over the past four days, more than 50 labourers trekked across snow-covered high-altitude passes for days together to reach their homes in Rajouri and Doda districts from Shopian in south Kashmir and Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

All the labourers, who were caught in groups of 10 to 24, were screened and later sent to separate quarantine facilities.

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