Pellet victim Faisal, now half-blind, misses class 10 exam
Desperate to appear in the class 10 examinations that started today, Faisal Ahmad could not make it due to severe pellet injuries in both eyes that left him half-blind. Security forces fired dozens of pellets in his eyes on August 24 in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
A resident of Karimabad village in Pulwama, 15 year old Faisal is regretting his fate sitting at his home on the day his examinations began.
“I had a dream and was very desperate to participate in matriculation exams and today’s science paper was my favorite but I am the most unlucky person because I could not attend the exams,” Faisal Ahmad told this reporter.
“My vision does not allow me to participate in exams. I am unable to study even.”
“The vision of my left eye is lost up to 85 percent while as in right eye 15 percent sight is lost.”
While talking about the incident he said, “There was a peaceful demonstration on August 24. The security forces fired pellets on peaceful protesters. I was hit in both eyes.”
“I was taken to Neva PHC, then to Pampore and then shifted to SMHS Srinagar. Two surgeries were conducted on my eyes but my sight could not recover,” he said.
“Now the doctors have said that a third surgery will be conducted in which lens will be installed in my eyes. The doctors are hopeful that 50 percent vision will recover after the surgery but they have not given any date yet,” Faisal said.
He said that he was very desperate to get the date for surgery so that if his sight recovers, he could take part in exams next year.
“I wept today morning when my friends went for exams but I was sitting at home,” he said.
“Faisal is talented. We have lots of hopes with him. We were hoping that he would top at least in the school but he could not even participate in exams,” Amina, Faisal’s mother, said.
She said that her other son, Amir Hassan, too is lodged in jail under Public Safety Act (PSA).
“He was arrested on September 11 and was sent to jail under PSA. He was working with Pashmina and was not involved in any anti-India activity,” she said with tears in her eyes.
“My husband is a laborer and Amir was our main bread earner. Now my one son is in jail and other half blind.”
About 96 civilians have been killed, around 15000 injured and around 10000 arrested by security forces during the ongoing agitation in Kashmir triggered by the killing of militant commander BurhanWani on July 8. About half of those injured have been fired with pellets, rendering about 1100 injured in their eyes.