Red Cross ambulance vandalised
Kathmandu, September 2
The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today said they were dismayed by the incident yesterday at Choharba of Siraha district, where a group of people pelted stones at an ambulance (SA 1 Cha 513) marked with distinct Red Cross emblem. The ambulance was heading towards Birgunj.
Four Red Cross ambulances have been vandalised in the Terai by demonstrators over the past three weeks, they informed.
“The NRCS operates its ambulance service from 173 stations throughout the country. They must be able to move without obstruction at all times. Ambulance services being operated by other agencies should receive the same treatment. Any misuse of the Red Cross emblem must be discouraged,” said Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, secretary general of the NRCS.
“We are extremely concerned about the consequences of recent violence,” said Dragana Kojic, the ICRC’s head of delegation to Nepal. “We call on all parties to exercise restraint and urge them to allow ambulance services to carry out their tasks during demonstrations, strikes and bandh.”
Medical personnel, ambulances and other means of medical transport must be allowed free and uninterrupted movement. Efficient delivery of health care need to be ensured in all circumstances.
The NRCS and the ICRC have also appealed to all parties to respect the neutral and impartial work of the Red Cross and the health care and emergency services they provide in need.