Agra Police said people brought their own cylinders to hospitals for treatment of their relatives as Agra was experiencing brief oxygen shortage two days back (Representative Image)
Agra Police has, in a statement, clarified its position on a viral video taken outside Upadhyay Hospital in the city, which allegedly showed a man tearfully begging policemen not to take away an oxygen cylinder he procured for his mother to a VIP patient.
In a video statement on Twitter on April 28, Agra Police said the video was posted in a “deceptive manner” and condemned it.
“Viral video shot outside Upadhyay Hospital, which shows people troubled due to oxygen situation (shortage), (two) people seen carrying an empty cylinder and one man requesting help from police for oxygen cylinder. This is a byte in regards to the deceptive manner of posting this video,” the official police account tweeted along with a video statement explaining its side. (Translated from Hindi)
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In the video statement, a spokesperson for the Agra Police states: “The video is shot outside Upadhyay Hospital which is in Sadarb circle. Two days back people brought their own cylinders to hospitals for treatment of their relatives as Agra was experiencing brief oxygen shortage. In the video, two men are seen carrying an empty oxygen cylinder and one man can be seen requesting present police personnel to help him acquire an oxygen cylinder for his relative admitted to Upadhyaya Hospital for COVID treatment. However, the video is being presented in a misleading manner on Twitter and Agra Police condemns this.” (Translated from Hindi)
The clarification comes after intense social media backlash after it circulated on Twitter with the report that the policemen were allegedly taking away the oxygen cylinder bought by the man for his mother to another VIP patient.
The original video was posted by the Times of India’s Uttar Pradesh correspondent Deepak Lavania who reported that the incident had taken place on April 27.
The Wire identified the PPE-clad man from the video as 22-year-old Anmol Goyal. Goyal told the publication his mother Usha Goyal, 53, passed away two hours after the cylinder was taken away on April 27.
In the video Goyal can be heard pleading for his mother’s life with policemen asking them not to confiscate an oxygen cylinder.
Goyal’s younger brother Ansh, 17, also told the publication that the cylinder was theirs and had been “acquired with great difficulty” after doctors told them the hospital did not have any oxygen left.
“The only thing that the doctor said would help her – an oxygen cylinder – was taken away from us,” Anmol said. In his tweet with the video, the TOI journalist had alleged that the cylinder was reportedly taken to “to supply it for a VIP.”Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here