‘Went to see neighbours in hospital, found my son critical’

Saleema was busy with her household chores when women in her neighbourhood called her to accompany them to Sub-District Hospital Sopore where many people—injured in action by forces—had been shifted.
‘Went to see neighbours in hospital, found my son critical’
File Photo

Saleema was busy with her household chores when women in her neighbourhood called her to accompany them to Sub-District Hospital Sopore where many people—injured in action by forces—had been shifted. But, she refused. "I was waiting for my son at home. I wanted to stay at home to serve him a meal when he would return," Saleema told Greater Kashmir on Tuesday.

However, after insistence from the neighbors, she set on foot to the hospital. One after the other, the injured were being carried in an ambulance as women watched the mayhem. Suddenly, Saleema saw a familiar face on a stretcher. "Myani Irfana (my Irfan)," she cried and fainted.

Irfan Rasool, a 22-year old Sopore youth, was hit by pellets in his chest and abdomen. Admitted at general specialty SMHS hospital here, pellets have hit his pericardium (sac enclosing heart), lungs, intestines and liver.

"There is laceration to his vital organs. There are internal bleeds that make his condition critical," a doctor attending to Irfan in Ward No 12 said.

In nearby Ward 16, 20-year-old Akeel Ahmed from Natipora Srinagar has two chest tubes protruding from his body, draining the fluid accumulation in his chest cavity.

Just a few hours earlier, Akeel, a BA 1st year student at Amar Singh College was sitting in a local park in his locality with two friends. "I was in Khal (local park), and suddenly I felt a painful, electric stings all over my back. I turned and saw some security forces men aiming a pellet gun at me," Akeel said.

Doctors said he had been hit by pellets in skull, chest, upper and lower abdomen. "Huge lacerations have been caused by pellets in his lungs and he has developed pneumothorax," said a doctor on duty. "He is stable but being closely monitored. Internal organ injuries can have an unpredictable prognosis. We are hopeful but keeping our fingers crossed."

At the end of the corridor of this floor at SMHS Hospital, 45-year-old Ghulam Hassan— father of four little children from Trehgam Kupwara—is battling with his injuries in Ward 19.

His family says over 20 people received pellet injuries in his village when forces made way through the market place where a protest was going on. "There is only one road and it was blocked by protestors. They (forces) opened doors of their vehicles and their men started firing pellets. The road opened," they said.

Although his family says most youth preferred to get treated locally, Hasssan's injuries were too grave.

As he was being brought to the SMHS Hospital, the vehicle carrying him was filled with his blood, a loss that put him in a state of shock, said his family.

Doctors said Hassan had to be resuscitated when he was brought to hospital. "He was very critical. Multiple organ injuries had resulted in his loss of blood," said a doctor.

"After blood transfusion, his general condition improved," said Bashir Ahmed, an attendant.

However, a week after being injured, he is still 'serious', according to doctors. "He has pellets in his colon, intestines and kidneys as well as liver," said a doctor on duty.

"Such grave injuries need many surgeries, long recuperation. Our priority is to make the patient stable before repairing the damage to his internal organs."

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