Kanpur: In heart-wrenching visuals from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, a 12-year-old boy hangs limply on the shoulders of his father, who is hurrying apparently to a children's ward.
Sunil Kumar, 36, has alleged that his son Ansh died on his shoulder on Friday, as he tried to get a doctor to see him urgently. The Uttar Pradesh government, which ordered two inquiries into allegations that the child was denied timely treatment in this city just 80 km from state capital Lucknow, has suspended the Chief Medical Superintendent of Kanpur Medical College.
"He was in Class 6 and very intelligent. I took him to a local hospital, they asked me to take him to the government hospital," says Mr Kumar, a mechanic. His son had high fever and had been treated at local clinics for two days.
At the emergency ward of the government-run Hallet hospital, the biggest in the city, the desperate father waited 30 minutes before he was allegedly told to take the boy to the children's section some 200 metres away. The doctors did not even examine the child, says the father.
Allegedly denied a stretcher, Mr Kumar rushed out on foot, hefting the boy on his shoulder. The heartbreaking spectacle was filmed by a reporter.
At the children's section, he was told that the boy was dead, that he would have survived even moments earlier. "It took me nine minutes....how could he be dead in nine minutes?" the father sobs.
The Hallet hospital claims that the child was dead when his father brought him.
"We admitted him. We found that there was no heart rate, no pulse, and the pupils are fixated and dilated. We could tell from his condition that he died two to three hours before being brought in," said Dr RC Gupta, the chief medical officer of the hospital.
The tragedy highlights, once again, the poor state of health care in large parts of the country.
Uttar Pradesh health minister Ravidas Mehrotra said: "Whoever is guilty will not be spared."
The image of a man walking with his wife's dead body on his shoulder after being denied hearse facilities in Odisha, is still seared in many minds.
In another part of Uttar Pradesh, the parents of a 10-month-old boy who died in a hospital earlier this month had alleged that they were asked for bribes by every employee they encountered.