Mill workers' rasta roko claims new-born's life

The four-hour-long rasta roko undertaken by mill workers on Thursday on the arterial SV Road in Bandra (West) spelt disaster for a 28-year-old pregnant woman who lost her new-born girl after delivering her enroute in a taxi as she could not reach the hospital in time.

Parveen Bilakiya was eight months pregnant when she started getting labour pains around 10 am at her Mahim residence. As the male members of her household had already left for work, her sister-in-law Sajida Bilakiya (35) decided to rush her to Bhabha hospital for the delivery and hailed a taxi. To their great shock, the taxi got stuck in a severe traffic jam on the arterial SV Road at Mahim for nearly 40 minutes due to the mill workers' agitation.

Speaking to MiD DAY, Sajida said, "We were not aware that there was an agitation by mill workers wherein they were blocking roads. This resulted in severe traffic snarls on SV Road. If we would have been aware, we would have never taken the road."

A distraught Ismail Bilakiya and his wife Praveen (mobile image). Pic/satyajit DesaiĀ 

She added, "Parveen was yelling in pain and finally the head of the baby came out. Flabbergasted, I asked the taxi driver to reverse the car and take us back home as our chances of reaching the hospital in time were grim and Parveen was about to deliver the baby."

Around 10.45, the Bilakiya's reached home and Parveen delivered the baby at home.

Sajida said, "I dissected the umbilical cord of the baby. However, I noticed that the baby wasn't crying. Shocked, I rushed Parveen back again to Bhabha hospital. This time around again we got stuck in traffic for nearly an hour. We made numerous attempts to revive the child on the way. However, the child was unresponsive."

Sajida then called her husband Ayub and Parveen's husband Ismail Bilakiya, who then proceeded to Bhabha hospital.

Ayub Bilakiya, Parveen brother-in-law, said," However, we too got caught in a jam on the SV Road. We then contacted the Mahim police station who then sent a police van to fetch us."

Ayub and Ismail reached Bhabha hospital at 11.30 am in a police van. However, their troubles weren't over as Sajida and Parveen were still suck in traffic.

"We then informed the police station again, who sent a police van to locate Parveen and Sajida and ferry them to the hospital," said Ayub.

Finally, Parveen and Sajida reached hospital nearly two hours after the delivery. However, the baby's body temperature was completely cold by then.

An angry Ayub said, "If there wasn't a traffic jam, Parveen could have had her delivery in the hospital wherein doctors could have atleast taken effective steps to revive the child and save her life. However, the traffic jam proved fatal for the baby."

Protesting mill workers at Bandra blocked the roads yesterday causing huge traffic snarls leaving commuters weary. Pic/Shadab Khan

The baby girl's corpse, whom the Bilakiya's named Ayesha, was taken to Sion hospital for post-mortem and last rites of the baby were performed on Thursday evening."

"This was my brother Ismail and Parveen's first child since their marriage in 2011. Parveen has been crying ever since Thursday morning and her health has severely deteriorated. Ismail is in a deep shock after he heard about the sad demise of his new-born girl," added Ayub.

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