by Saima Bhat
SRINAGAR: Mrs Justice Gita Mittal, the Chief Justice of High Court has taken a suo motto cognisance of the case of a mentally unsound girl who gave birth to a child in Gund area of Ganderbal. On Tuesday the Chief Justice directed the Kashmir Police Chief to submit a complete report to the court in two days.
It was early morning of November 20, when a mentally unsound woman was found wandering along with a dead child in her lap on the streets in Gund area, around 40 km away from Ganderbal area. She had given birth to a baby without any medical help and eyewitnesses said she was profusely bleeding.
Syed Arif, Station House Officer (SHO) Gund, informed Kashmir Life that he received a call around 9.30 am from locals informing about the lady, who looked mentally unsound. “Immediately I sent a police party to the spot and they informed me the lady was profusely bleeding and was carrying a dead child in her lap,” Arif said. “I directed them to take her to the PHC, Kulan and meanwhile I sent a lady constable to the hospital who was there as an attendant till we traced her family.”
It is believed that the mentally unsound lady had given birth to a baby without any medical help during the same night. A local informed, “My wife and one lady tenant washed her when we saw her in blood and you would not believe in return she gave me Rs 26000. When I asked where from she got this money she said she was a beggar and used to beg around Hazratbal, Makhdoom Sahib Shrine and Dasgeer Sahib Shrine.” He added, “She is mentally disturbed but sometimes she talks normally. She also told me she used to sleep on the shop pavements.”
After police took the cognisance of the matter, Masjid Committee requested the local SHO that they want to bury the dead baby. “I allowed them and meanwhile we traced her family in Budgam and found from the local police station that this girl was missing,” the police officer said. “The family, comprising of her father, sister and brother, reached our police station late that evening and meanwhile the doctors in the PHC informed that patient was fit to go home by 8.30pm. But a local social activist and his wife, who is French, had also reached the hospital and they requested the family should spend the night at their residence as the patient should not be allowed to travel in such a condition.”
The family stayed at their house for three days but the mentally unsound girl was reluctant to go with her family and her family was also reluctant to take her.
SHO Arif says the girl had not shared anything with the lady constable, he had sent, who stayed with her in PHC. “She was very much disturbed and we did not want to disturb her. So we directly contacted her family. But the way her family behaved was indifferent and I believe they were aware of it. Even if any untoward incident has happened to her but it was their responsibility to keep her,” SHO Arif says he has mentioned the case in the station’s daily diary records but no FIR was lodged as her missing report was already filed in the other police station.
In Lala Ded
After staying with social activist’s family for some days, SHO Arif said the family got in touch with an NGO in Srinagar, Sakhi one-stop centre (OSC) that works under Women and Child Development scheme of social welfare department and they got her admitted in LD hospital.
“When we received her she was still bleeding. She was accompanied by two ladies from a local NGO in Rajbagh,” a doctor at the Lala Ded hospital said. “She had a perennial tear so we had to stitch her and she had some clots inside and that needed D&C. She was admitted in the hospital on Saturday and on Monday she was discharged.” The hospital administration, however, did not say if the lady has been discharged or is still in the hospital.
One of the officials of OSC said, “The lady is still undergoing treatment at LD hospital as her chest was also involved and she had to undergo nebulisation twice. After her discharge, we will keep her with us for a week in our shelter home.”
Another NGO’s Application
Meanwhile, the NGO Kashmir Women’s Collective who while quoting the mentally unsound lady claims that the lady was raped somewhere near Makhdoom Sahib shrine where this lady was frequently going. Late Tuesday evening they have filed an application with the local police station, Nowhatta.
SHO Nowhatta, Ajaz said after the application they have filed an FIR in the case under number 83/2018 and will start investigating the case soon. “We cannot say anything yet. We have to look for many aspects in the case as the victim is not mentally sound and then she has mentioned a Khan family in Ganderbal where she was staying for some time,” the officer said. “We have to look into that aspect as well if they are not involved. Give us some time to investigate the matter, only then we will be able to say anything.”