Monday, September 26, 2022

Kashmiris Flock to Hospitals to Donate Blood amid Violence and Curfews

An Indian man travelled 5 km on foot amid a curfew to reach a local hospital in Kashmir to donate blood for those injured in the ongoing violence following the death of Burhan Wani, a top figure in the pro-independence Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) group.

The 32-year-old Mushtaq Ahmad joined Syed Mohsin, a lawyer who came from come from the volatile Qamarwari, and a group of 10 men from nearby Chattabal.

“I had come from Natipora dodging protests, angry cops and CRPF men to donate blood for my brothers. But they are not accepting now,” Ahmad said, according to a report by Hindustan Times, as covered by IRNA.

An enthusiastic minor from the old city was also seen trying to convince officials to accept his blood only to be turned away like many others.

“Sorry, we have enough blood in storage now. We can’t accept more,” hospital officials told those in the queue.

Kashmir has been on the boil after Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8. Violent clashes between angry protesters and security forces across the valley have killed over 40 people and injured thousands in the 11-day unrest even as curfew continues in the region.

Despite receiving an unprecedented number of patients with bullet and pellet injuries, hospitals in Srinagar say they have managed to keep enough blood in stock following a huge response from people who have eagerly donated for the injured.

The SMHS hospital, one of the two tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar, has received the highest number of critical patients from south and north Kashmir in the last 11 days.

Its medical superintendent, Dr Nazir Chowdhary, said that as many as 394 patients were brought to the hospital since July 9, a day after Wani’s death. Many of them had bullets, pellets, stones or other physical injuries.

The hospital has used as many as 320 units of blood for the injured but the supply of fresh blood is more than enough.

“The volunteers are still ready to donate. We have enough reserves,” Chowdhary said.

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