Despite massive outcry, pellets continue to blind and maim
Photo: Mir Wasim/GK

Despite massive outcry, pellets continue to blind and maim

At least 30 people hit by pellets in eyes and other parts of their bodies were admitted at Srinagar’s general specialty SMHS Hospital till Sunday evening in a span of less than 24 hours, doctors said.

At least 30 people hit by pellets in eyes and other parts of their bodies were admitted at Srinagar's general specialty SMHS Hospital till Sunday evening in a span of less than 24 hours, doctors said.

Adil Bashir, a 22-yr-old B.Tech student from South Kashmir's Anantnag was brought to the Hospital on Sunday evening with both his eyes perforated by pellets, a doctor said. After exploring his injuries at the Trauma Theatre, we saw these were 'bad', he said.

"His right eye is extremely bad and there is no chance (of eyesight) in that," an Ophthalmologist who examined Adil, told Greater Kashmir. "His left eye also has a bad injury but we might be able to salvage some vision in it."

Besides pellets in eyes, Adil had pellet injuries in chest and abdomen, apart from a fractured arm.

Doctors said Adil refused to talk as he was "under shock."

"He is extremely agitated due to the grave nature of his injuries and he has no relative, friend or neighbor with him," they said.

A volunteer from Anantnag who had accompanied him to the hospital said he was also beaten by forces.

Another pellet victim, Junaid Mehraj—an eight-year-old from Nawab Bazar Srinagar— was taken off respiratory support on Sunday afternoon and placed under observation. "We are keeping a watch on how his lungs will behave after the surgery," a doctor attending to him said. "His vital signs are being monitored."

Junaid, having undergone a surgery on Sunday night, has been hit by pellets in chest.

Tears rolled down Junaid's eyes and a neighbor kept wiping them. Asked why he was crying, he said: "I don't know but I just can't help it."

The pellets had entered through his chest wall and perforated his left lung. Blood oozed out of a chest tube inserted into his frail and bony body.

"His left lung had contusions (tissue ruptured and bleeding) and he had pneumothorax (collection of gas in chest cavity that collapses the lung)," the doctors said. "He is stable for now but we are observing him."

A neighbor of his, who identified himself as Faizan, said Junaid used to run indoors if there was stone-pelting in the area. "He is a small child who would get scared with chaos and noise," he said. He alleged that Junaid was "targeted by forces."

"He had milk in his hand when he was shot at. They stopped him and fired at him," he said.

The neighbors said his mother was sick and had sent him out to fetch milk. "She is so sick that she came to the hospital for only an hour this morning," his neighbors said.

SMHS Hospital has been witnessing huge flow of firearm injury victims for the past 44 days—since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.

Doctors said over 70 percent of the injured treated at the hospital had been hit by pellets. Over 500 people have their eyes perforated by pellets resulting in severe injuries that have or can cause visual impairment.

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Greater Kashmir
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