Kashmir unrest: Pregnant women in search of safer routes

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley became unrest over the killing of the militant leader Burhan Wani on July 8. The Valley was under curfew for 52 days till 29 August and 71 people were killed in clashes with the security forces. The authorities in Kashmir have decided to lift the restrictions from the Valley on 29 August, however, the restrictions under the Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits unlawful assembling of more than 10 people at a place in groups, was remained imposed. Stone throwing protesters, security forces firing pellets, and unprecedented pickets and strikes by separatists, people are forced to adopt desperate measures in times of emergencies in the valley.

A unique arrangement became necessary for a family of a 25 year old woman, who is looking for a house to rent near any private maternity hospital in the Srinagar area where they can move when she enters her 9th month of her pregnancy, whose baby is due in October. The family is from the outskirts of Srinagar, which is at least 10 KM away from the hospital.

A member of the pregnant woman’s family said on Thursday that, “We don’t want to get caught between stone pelters and security men; travelling in the night can be dangerous in the valley”. 

In a similar incident on Wednesday another woman from downtown Srinagar was taken to the nearby hospital on a bike when her labour started, as could not reach hospital on time she lost her child.

“After much argument with the protesters and the security forces, she made it to a nearby maternity care hospital in Srinagar. Since her BP was very high, she lost the child”, one of her neighbours said.

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