Apprehensive about the extent of injures they have suffered, the two teenagers kept asking the doctors if they would be able to retain their vision.
ZEHRU NISSA
Srinagar: Two teenagers with eyes hit by pellets were brought to Srinagar’s general specialty SMHS hospital from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday, bringing back the chilling memories of 2016 summer uprising in Kashmir when more than 1,500 people were injured in eyes by the ‘deadly’ metallic ammunition used by forces.
Scenes of angst were witnessed at the hospital when Saqib Ahmed (18) and Aqib Ahmed (16) were rushed in with their eyes perforated by the pellets. While doctors gave them the preliminary treatment to “seal” the injury in their eyes, they kept inquiring if more youth had been injured in the southern area where protests erupted during and after a gunfight between militants and forces on Sunday morning.

“We have to be ready for any eventuality,” a doctor at SMHS Hospital said.
Saqib, as per his medical records, hails from Chakoora area in southern Pulwama district and had pellets perforating his right eye while Aqib is from Noor Bagh area of the same district and is hit in his left eye with pellets.
Apprehensive about the extent of injures they have suffered, the two teenagers kept asking the doctors if they would be able to retain their vision.
“His eye was bleeding continuously. Will it be alright?” an elderly man, accompanying Saqib, asked the doctors.
The doctors refrained from breaking the hopes of the injured teenagers and their relatives. “When a pellet enters an eye, the perforation and the heat generated by the velocity damages the internal and external vital areas of vision so badly that it is very difficult to restore the vision to pre-injury level,” a doctor at SMHS Hospital said.
As per records of SMHS Hospital, a list of at least 850 pellet victims with varying degrees of vision impairment had been forwarded to the state government upon its directions.
“Most of them have suffered grievous injury at the hands of forces. Most of them are legally blind,” a senior doctor at SMHS Hospital said.
He said over the past seven months, they have been struggling with hundreds of pellet-hit eyes and attempting to restore “some vision.”
“In many cases, there is no improvement. In some, we have been able to restore ‘usable vision’”, he said.
The state government recently told the State Assembly that there was no plan to ban the pellet guns. “The pump action gun or pellet gun is being used in the situations where all other means of dispersing furious mobs get ineffective,” the government had replied to a query from the Opposition regarding use of pellets guns.

Print Friendly