Pellets in eye, 12-yr-old asks: Why did they shoot at me?

Hit by pellets in his right eye Saturday evening, 12 year old Mohsin Mushtaq from Khanyar Srinagar tries hard to open his injured eye that has closed due to swelling.
Pellets in eye, 12-yr-old asks: Why did they shoot at me?
GK Photo

Hit by pellets in his right eye Saturday evening, 12 year old Mohsin Mushtaq from Khanyar Srinagar tries hard to open his injured eye that has closed due to swelling. "I could see even after pellets hit me," he insists. "If my eye opens, I will be able to see again with it," he adds squeezing his eye bruised blue.

Mohsin, although visibly in pain due to dozens of pellets in his body, was adamant on himself narrating the details of the incident that led to his injury: "I, along with a few of my friends were playing cricket in Radapura stadium at Khanyar. We were busy with the play and suddenly there was some commotion outside the play field. Then out of nowhere, security forces barged into the ground and fired at us. Four of us fell down. They were all my age, my play mates. They were injured in body but I, in addition to multiple pellet injuries all over my body including chest and back, was also hit in eye."

"It felt like a prick… a very painful prick," Mohsin says as his mother Sabeena tries to force a spoonful of rice into his mouth, beads of tears escaping from her eyes. "I do not feel like eating," he says. The injured boys were brought to hospital by passersby and the family came to know later in evening.

"I was shocked. I am still shocked," Sabeena says adding that Mohsin's father Mushtaq Ahmed Sofi, a businessman by profession, is also devastated. "We are not able to look at our son. Look what they did to his innocent face," she says.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Mohsin complains that media is not asking 'them' the right questions. "Ask them why they shot at me and my friends?" he repeats many times during the conversation.

"I was playing. Are we not allowed to play?" he goes on.

Doctors at SMSH Hospital said Mohsin's eye had been perforated by pellets. "Four pellets have gone through his cornea and retina and are lodged at Optic Nerve," an Ophthalmologist at SMSH Hospital treating Mohsin said. "That is not a very good sign," the doctor added.

"Right now we have done primary repair. It takes some time till real picture of the injury is available," they said.

Mohsin is a student of Class 6 at Tiny Tots School Rainawari. He has a younger sister.

In the past few days, many women and children injured by pellets have been brought to SMHS Hospital for treatment. As per hospital records, over 920 people injured by pellets in eyes have been treated at SMHS Hospital's Ophthalmology department in the past 87 days since pro-freedom protests broke out in Kashmir following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.

Many school going children have their eye(s) perforated by pellets, injuries that threaten their vision.

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