12-year-old teargased victim suffers crippling burns


Srinagar—In occupied Kashmir, in the surgical ward of SMHS hospital, 12-year-old Basharat Bashir looks frozen with stiff neck, bandaged hands and sealed lips. The only parts of his body that move are his eyes.
A 7th standard student, Basharat has been left with burnt face, chest, arms and ears. The youngest among the four siblings, Basharat struggles to speak as his lips are burnt. Murmuring in a feeble voice, he says, “I was not pelting stones.”
Basharat’s mother Meema tries hard to make his son eat food. After every morsel, he nods to tell his mother that he doesn’t want to eat. But she tells him, “You have to get well soon. If you don’t eat, how will your wounds heal?”
Narrating the fateful day when her son was injured beyond recognition, Meema says, “On Friday as usual there were protests going on in Sopore. Basharat had gone to tuitions. After finishing tuitions he had come home and when protests started he was with me at home. After the protests were over, Basharat insisted on going out and buying chips and I let him go. After couple of minutes, neighbors brought him home. I couldn’t recognize him. His face was brown as if it had been fried.”
“While playing with his friend, Basharat had picked teargas canister in his hand which burst in hand and left him severely injured. This is what Basharat and my neighbors told me.”—KMS