72 hours Kashmir horror: 86 patients hit with pellet injuries in eyes

Srinagar—Two young women, who happen to be cousins, are hit by bullets and are struggling for life at Ward 16 of SMHS Hospital here. Both have been hit by bullets, both have gut-perforations—one has a compression fracture in spine and lies paralysed waist-below. The other has organ damage but no paralysis. In the same Ward, many other youth—all hit by bullets and some by pellets and rubber bullets—lie admitted, uncertain about the outcome of their injuries.
Many injured face loss of function in limbs or some other disability, according to doctors. Some voluntary organizations are making arrangements for ‘water-beds’ for the injured to prevent their bed sores. “They are going to be bed-ridden for a long time, if not forever,” a surgeon said.
“My daughter was not a stone-pelter nor were she and her cousin protesting,” the distraught mother of the firing victim from Arwani Bijbehara said. “She had come home from our paddy fields for getting lunch.”
This family of five people survives on meager income of an iron-smith. “He is our bread-winner, my husband,” says the woman, pointing towards him. Ward 8, Ward 7 and Ward 3 of SMHS Hospital are full of youth hit by pellets in their eyes. This hospital has admitted 86 patients with pellet eye injuries, and operated upon 64 of them.
Doctors said while 20 people were discharged following significant improvement in their eyesight, 20 more were recovering well.
“About rest 46, we are not very hopeful,” said a doctor. “They would definitely lose some or all vision in the eye hit by pellets.”
Among this lot of victims of pellet guns is an eight-year-old Nausheen (name changed). She has no clue of what is in offing for her. “She just wants to go home,” a woman attending to her, identifying herself as her aunt, said.—GK

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