MP government forms committee to ensure no ambulance is used for drug trafficking
The Madhya Pradesh government has formed a joint committee of the home, transport and health departments to frame a policy for issuing license to ambulances.
Responding to a call attention motion moved by BJP legislature Yashpal Singh Sisodia in the state Assembly, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said, "There have been two instances where ambulances were found to be transporting opium in the region."
"Legal action were taken against them but we found that there was no such policy under which licenses are issued to ambulances. The joint committee will meet all the stake holders and finalise a policy to prevent such misuse in the future," Singh added.
While moving the call attention motion, Sisodia said a large number of vehicles including vans and tempos with yellow beacons are being used as ambulances in the state.
The number of ambulances operating is far more than the actual requirement. These vehicles are used for opium smuggling and their operators enjoy patronage from the police and top officials, the home minister said.
The Opposition party, Congress, has alleged that in all cases of smuggling, the action taken by police is against the poor.
While the claims of recovering contraband worth crores are made, the ones who are arrested are normally poor. This suggests that the real smugglers and the mafia are being let off, the Congress party alleges.
The home minister also assured that the government will conduct an audit of number of vehicles operating as ambulances in the Mandsaur-Ratlam-Neemuch region and will seek a report from the health department on the actual number of ambulances required.
The government has also announced strengthening the police and excise network in areas bordering Rajasthan and Gujarat to prevent movement of smugglers to and from Madhya Pradesh.