An ambulance was briefly stopped, so were other vehicles in Tamil Nadu's Kumbakonam, about 293 km from Chennai, on Monday to allow a convoy of a State Minister.
The Minister's vehicle had almost crossed the one-km long, ancient Anaikarai bridge on which vehicles were permitted to ply in one direction at a time, a senior police official in Kumbakonam said.
"Normally, the vehicles are allowed to cross the Anaikarai bridge in one direction at a time while those coming in the opposite direction are made to wait at the entry or exit point. The traffic in this section is managed in coordination with the police," the official said.
Today, the Minister's vehicle had covered the entire stretch of the bridge and was about to take a turn to go towards Arikamedu village when the ambulance came in the opposite direction, he told PTI.
"As per the existing traffic arrangement, all vehicles, including the ambulance, were halted for a couple of minutes to prevent a possible head-on collision," he explained.
Nevertheless, the Thanjavur Superintendent of Police G Ravali Priya sought an explanation from the local police on the incident, the official said.
"Priority is always given to ambulance carrying patients but in this case the ambulance was about to get onto the bridge when the convoy almost arrived at the end of the bridge," the official claimed.
On the sheer number of vehicles accompanying the Minister's, he claimed some locals or passersby would have followed the VIP vehicle in a bid to cross the bridge quickly.
A video showing the ambulance with the sirens blaring and being halted by a police constable went viral on social media.
The constable was seen saluting the vehicle in which State School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi was reportedly travelling. More than a dozen vehicles were in the convoy and the ambulance were made to wait a few minutes till the convoy passed.
The functionaries of the Opposition AIADMK criticised the ruling DMK by citing the video.
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