Hit by ‘full cartridge’ of pellets, 22-yr-old Danish faces ‘total blindness’
The 22-year old Danish from Rainawari here lies motionless on his bed in Ophthalmology Ward of SMHS Hospital here.
His eyes and forehead are bandaged. Around his bed, whispers loud enough to reach his ears describe his plight. "He has been blinded completely by the pellets. Nothing is left of his eyes," a doctor said.
One of Danish's attendants took out his mobile phone to show the picture of a foreign body that doctors took out from his eyes during an operation—a two-inch metallic cylinder.
"He had been hit from such a close range that the entire cartridge of pellets, along with the casing, had pierced his eyes," a doctor said. "That metal part, almost of the size of a pressure cooker vent weight, was removed out of his eye."
Suddenly, suppressing the pain, Danish says: "I will get better. You have to pray for it." He recalled how the pellets fired by the forces hit him in his eyes.
"There was a relaxation in curfew and I moved out with my friends. A patrol party came and chased us. I stopped to see if they had left and suddenly I could see nothing," he said, as his siblings and father gather around his bed.
Doctors who had operated upon Danish said they had never seen such a grave injury in eyes. "The pellets have in a way scooped out his eye contents," said an eye-surgeon.
"Imagine a two inch metal part smashing an eye and then dispersing hundreds of pellets in different directions in the orbit of the eye. The cartridge had entered one eye and proceeded to smash both."
Doctors in the Ophthalmology department are aghast at the extent of damage the pellets have caused to the victims, stating that in many cases innumerable pellets have hit eyes thus decreasing the chances of recovery of the patients.
"In 90 percent of cases, pellets have pierced either the cornea, or retina or even snapped optic nerve," said a surgeon. "It is impossible to restore pre-injury vision in injured eyes."
Back in the Ward, Danish's sister, concerned about the future of her brother, cried bitterly. "Our mother is not alive but she won't have survived after seeing this condition of my brother," she cried by her brother's bedside, clutching his hand.
At SHMS hospital alone, the number of patients injured in eyes due to the pellets stood at 171 on Thursday evening, as this report was filed. 164 had suffered 'eye damage', the hospital records state.
In the past three days, 20 fresh cases of pellet injuries have been reported at the hospital.
"On one hand the government is expressing concern over the injuries caused to youth and children by pellets but on the other the use of the pellet guns continues which is resulting in more persons losing their eyesight," said a senior doctor at the hospital. "There is no halt to use of this lethal weapon. More and more people are losing eyesight, many of them little boys and girls."