At SMHS hospital, desperate mothers pray for recovery of sons

“Locals told me that my son is injured and is looking for me,” Daisy said, and broke down. “But he could not talk to me when I saw him.”

Auqib Shamshad, a 16-year-old student preparing for his class 10 Board examinations, had told his mother that he wasn’t able to focus on his studies due to roaring gunfight in the vicinity of his house in Laroo area of Kulgam, before giving her a slip. Minutes later, locals rushed to tell his mother Daisy Jan that Aquib was critically wounded and was looking for her.

“Locals told me that my son is injured and is looking for me,” Daisy said, and broke down. “But he could not talk to me when I saw him.”

Inconsolable outside the trauma theatre of the general specialty SMHS hospital here on Sunday afternoon, Daisy wailed over her inability to make sure that her son doesn’t step out of the house.  “I went to his room at around seven in the morning to see if he is there, and asked him to study and stay put,” she told Greater Kashmir. Inside the theatre, a group of doctors was operating upon Auqib to try and save him. A doctor said Auqib had serious injuries in abdomen, chest and neck. “His condition is critical,” the doctor said. 

Daisy wailed loudly as other women tried to calm her down. “He was in a pool of blood; will he survive?” she asked. 

At other corner of the hospital corridor, another woman Naseema Begum was inconsolable. Moments later, she banged on a door of the trauma theatre. “Please tell the doctor to save my son’s eyesight somehow,” she told a security guard at the entrance.

The guard told her to sit calmly and let doctors work, but the woman didn’t move and kept calling her son’s name—Javaid. 

Amid prayers for his recovery, she said: “I will touch the feet of the doctor and beg him to save my son’s eyesight. My son has suffered pellet injuries in eyes.”

Away from Jan and Begum, a young woman broke down. “These are people from my village. I don’t know if my family is safe there,” the woman said, and broke down.

The woman, a nursing student, was attending some training at the hospital when she saw familiar faces being brought there with grave injuries. Due to snapping of communication lines in Kulgam, she could not call her family.

The attendants tried to pacify her. “There is not much that has happened. Your brothers would be safe,” a young man tried to assure her.

However, among themselves, the attendants talked about the huge blast. 

A survivor Rayees Ahmad, a college student, said he was inside the house where the blast took place.

“It is a miracle that I am alive and unhurt,” he said. 

He said after the gunfight ended, a large number of people entered the two houses that were afire. “We wanted to douse the flames and save what was left of the structures. Suddenly, there was a huge blast and when I opened my eyes, I was among some people; there were other people around with injuries.”

Nine among the injured were brought to Srinagar hospitals for specialised treatment but two of them were declared dead at SMHS hospital, while one was declared dead at the SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura. Four other persons with pellet injuries were being treated at the SMHS hospital. 

Another person with blast injury to his arm was being treated at SKIMS medical college hospital, Bemina.