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news details
Kishtwar toddler dies after family denied ambulance
People blame DC, hold protests, demand FIR
11/16/2018 10:36:39 PM
Asif Iqbal Naik
Early Times Report
Kishtwar, Nov 16: A two-year-old baby died after his family was denied critical ambulance to shift him to Jammu, triggering protests in Kishtwar town.
Mohammad Sultan, a resident of Kuchhal village, some 45 km from Kishtwar, said his child Manan Hussain suffered from pneumonia. After reaching the district hospital, the doctors prescribed some medicines to his ailing son, but his condition didn't improve. Later, they suggested Sultan to shift his ailing child to Jammu for immediate treatment.
Sultan sought the help of hospital management in shifting the child to Jammu, but the hospital management said he could avail critical ambulance service only after paying fuel and other charges.
Being a poor man, Sultan could not afford the fuel charges. He approached some locals who brought the matter into the notice of local NGO Ababeel.
Seeing the condition of the child, the members of the NGO approached Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana. But to their disappointment, the DC snubbed them and asked them to leave, accusing them of giving unnecessary hype to non-issues.
"DC Kishtwar told us that no one dies of pneumonia and asked us to leave. Another officer, Anil Chandail (ACD Kishtwar) echoed the DC's statement," said Umar Farooq, a senior member of Ababeel.
He said that after DC Kishtwar, Health officials also refused to help them and they paid Rs 3800 for simple ambulance for shifting the ailing child to Jammu. They also gave some money to Sultan. He said they shifted the child to Jammu, but he died on reaching the Jammu hospital.
Umar said that on Thursday they also shifted five pregnant ladies outside Kishtwar district due to non-availability of an anaesthetist doctor at the district hospital Kishtwar.
Meanwhile, the death of the child sparked protests in the town. The newly elected councilor Sajjad Ahmed Najjar was part of the protest outside district hospital Kishtwar wherein angry people were carrying the dead body of the minor and demanding registration of FIR against DC Kishtwar and Health officials.
Najjar said that after receiving news of the death of the poor child at Jammu, he requested the driver of the ambulance to bring his body back to Kishtwar so that it could be ferried to his village for burial. But the ambulance driver did not heed to his repeated request, he said. He said that he also requested the administration and Health officials for same, but nothing was done by them as well.
Najjar said that after everyone including private transporters refused to bring the dead body of the minor from Jammu, they suggested his father to wrap the child inside the blanket and not to inform anyone that the child was dead.
He said that accordingly the grief stricken father of the minor wrapped the dead body of his child in a blanket and sat sit in a private passenger bus and reached Kishtwar after covering a distance of 230 km.
After learning about the incident, Tehslidar Kishtwar, Shokat Hayat Mattoo reached out to the protestors, but they refused to listen to him and insisted that DC Kishtwar should talk to them. Besides, they demanded 'compensation' in favour of the victim and action against guilty officials.
SHO Police Station Kishtwar Sameer Jeelani and Additional SP Kishtwar Parbeet Singh also reached the spot and requested the people to call off the protest, but the latter refused.
It was only after Tehsildar Kishtwar's commitment that the compensation will be paid to the victim family and that in case the government didn't pay them, he will pay the same out of his salary, that the protestors lifted the dead body of the minor from the road.
Later with the efforts of Tehsildar Kishtwar, the bead body of the minor was shifted to his native village where he was buried.
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