Hit by teargas shell, 14-year-old battles for life

A Class 8th student Basit Mukhtar from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district continues to be critical at the Intensive Care Unit of Srinagar’s SMHS hospital after he was hit by a teargas shell in head on September 5.
Hit by teargas shell, 14-year-old battles for life
GK Photo

A Class 8th student Basit Mukhtar from South Kashmir's Pulwama district continues to be critical at the Intensive Care Unit of Srinagar's SMHS hospital after he was hit by a teargas shell in head on September 5.

"He has multiple deep brain contusions and his condition continues to remain critical," said a doctor at the ICU.

The 14-year-old Basit, an orphan, has been put on ventilator and in spite of "depressive craniectomy", there is no improvement in the teenager's condition for the past six days, the doctor said.

Depressive Crainectomy is a neurosurgery in which part of the skull bone is taken out to provide more space to a brain swollen due to injury or bleeding.

"His pupils are fixed and dilated. We can say he is 'brain dead'," said the doctor. "It is the severe brain injury that has led to the condition otherwise his other vitals such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation are about normal." Doctors said his score on Glasgow Coma Scale, an indicator of a comatose patients' condition, was 04. "His brain has been totally shattered by the injury. The worst possible brain injury patient has score of 03," they said.

A resident of Dalipora Pulwama, Basit, according to his relative Javaid Ahmad, had gone out with his friends in the evening during the "relaxation time".

"They had gone to play cricket. The moment he (Basit) came out of an alley, he was hit by a teargas shell," a neighbour of Basit quoted his friends, who were accompanying him when the incident happened.

He said few months before, Basit's father Mukhtar Ahmad passed away after prolonged illness.

 After his father's death, Basit's mother was looking up to him for supporting the family including his younger brother.

 "She was here for a day but couldn't bear the condition of her son. She kept crying all the day and then we sent her home," said Basit's relative.

After his father's death, the family had shifted to maternal grandparents' home and were living there, said Javiad.

"The doctors have told us that there are very little chances of his survival. We are just giving false hopes to his mother that Basit's condition is improving. She will be devastated if anything happens to him," said his neighbour.

Apart from bullets and pellets, shells have been one of the causes of deaths in Kashmir during the past 65 days of anti-India uprising triggered by the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8.

On Saturday, a teenager from Shopian died after he was hit by a teargas shell. Last month, 19-year-old Irfan Fayaz of downtown Srinagar was killed when it hit him on chest.

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