WOUNDED CHILDHOOD: Meet Valley’s teenaged pellet victims

Four-year-old Zuhra Majeed, who is undergoing treatment at general specialty SMHS hospital here, has been insisting on meeting her friends.
WOUNDED CHILDHOOD: Meet Valley’s teenaged pellet victims
GK Photo

Four-year-old Zuhra Majeed, who is undergoing treatment at general specialty SMHS hospital here, has been insisting on meeting her friends. She wants to show them her video that has gone viral on social networking sites. "I want to go home. I want to be with my friends," says Zuhra, unmindful of the pellets, fired by forces, which have pierced her body. Asked how she got injured, Zuhra blames "firecrackers by police uncle."

"Mein Bachpan Mein Pathakay Jalati Thi, Ab Nahi Jalati Hon (I would burst fire-crackers when I was a kid, but now I don't)," says the nursery-grade kid in all innocence as she is being treated for pellet injuries in her abdomen, chest, both legs and forehead, at Ward No 16-A of the hospital, which has admitted over 200 patients with bullet and pellet injuries after the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.

The youngest victim of action by the forces, Zuhra was injured along with her cousin Sobia and uncle Abdul Majid Sheikh of Qamarwari here, on late Sunday evening.  

"I along with Zohra was at the entrance of our house, waiting for my father to get the car for shifting our sister to a hospital when police fired pellets at us," said Sobia, who has pellet injuries in her both legs. She said her father was critically injured and had to be shifted to SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) here.

Zohra is among many kids and teenagers who are recuperating from injuries at the hospital for the past five days.

TAMANA ASHIQ

10-year old student from Tulmulla Ganderbal, Tamana Ashiq, was hit by pellets in her left eye. "There were protests in the area and she (Tamana) was standing in her kitchen window when pellets fired by police hit her on her face," said Tamana's mother, Shameema.

"I am not able to see anything with my left eye. There is complete darkness," said Tamana herself, who is undergoing treatment in Ward No 8 of SMHS hospital.

A senior doctor said Tamana has suffered "retinal detachment" and there were "minimal chances" of her regaining vision in her injured eye. 

Aware about the extent of injury her daughter has suffered, Shameema asks every visitor and attendant to pray for the recovery of her daughter, as tears trickle down her eyes.

"I am concerned about her future," Shameema sighed, and broke down again.

UMER NAZIR

12-year-old student Umer Nazir from Rajpora Pulwama was operated upon on Sunday for removal of pellets from his intestines. "There were no protests in our area…we don't know how it happened," said Umer's father, Nazir Ahmad.

Umer has "severe" pellet injuries in his both eyes. His face has swollen and more than a dozen pellets have pierced his face and skull.

"His right eye is irreparable while as vision in his left eye is decreasing since yesterday due to the injury in the optic nerve," said a doctor. 

"I want this pain to subside. It is killing me," Umer whispers in the ear of his father. Moments later, he again turns towards his father: "Will I be able to see with my right eye?" asks Umer as his father gives him a blank look. "Look what they have done to my son," Nazir said.

JUNAID AHMAD

11-year old Junaid was hit by a bullet in his pelvic area with doctors fearing that the damage to his genitals may be irreparable.

Junaid, according to his relatives, was on a roadside when he was hit by a bullet. He is one among more than six teenagers who have received bullet injuries in action by forces.

"He doesn't talk to anybody. We don't know what is the extent of the injury he has," said one of his relatives.

UMAR KHALID

This 11-year old student from Kulgam is one among more than 110 civilians who got pellet injuries in one or both eyes. Both his eyes have turned reddish in color and tears continue to trickle down from them.

"O Allah cure my son," Khalid's mother sighs, concerned about the future of his teenage son.

All the beds in Wards 7 and 8 of the SMHS hospital are occupied by persons hit by pellets, including kids and teenagers. 

In the past six days, more than 70 eye-surgeries have been conducted by the doctors at the SMHS hospital while the total number of eye-injury cases has crossed 110.

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com