Of 50 hurt in clashes, 15 hit by pellets

At least 50 youth were injured, 15 of them by pellets, during clashes in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday after killing of Lashkar-e-Toiba commander NaveedJhatt and his associate during an encounter at Chattergam.
As the gunfight erupted, the locals, mostly youth, attempted to march towards the encounter site to pave way for militants to escape from the area.
However, as they were intercepted by the force personnel, they pelted stones on them. The force personnel retaliated by firing bullets, pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse the protestors, causing injuries to them.
Sub District hospital (SDH) Chattergam—nearly two kilometres away from the encounter site— witnessed chaotic scenes in the day as injured were brought to the hospital for treatment.
Block Medical Officer (BMO), Chattergam Dr Kousar Amin told Rising Kashmir that they received around 52 injured at the hospital and of them, many had pellet injuries.
“We shifted 20-25 injured to SKIMS Bemina and SMHS hospitals including one youth with a bullet on thigh. Most of injured referred to Srinagar hospitals had pellet injuries,” she said.
At least 11 youth soaked in blood and withering in chronic pain, occupied beds at ophthalmology ward at SMHS hospital after being hit by pellets in eyes during clashes.
Among them is Fayaz Ahmad Dar of KuthporaChattergam, who has been hit by pellets in both eyes.
“His right eye has suffered extensive damage. After being hit by pellets in eyes, force personnel had walked over him,” alleged Dar’s brother.
Dar is a driver by profession and has two children.
Both his eyes are bandaged. He has pellets all over the body.
Wahid Ahmad, a 9th standard student of Kanipora, was hit on left eye in forces pellet firing in Chattergam village.
“He was hit by pellets while he was on way to sub-district hospital Chattergam as he was suffering from headache. He has been hit by pellets on head also. It is unfortunate that forces are targeting innocent civilians. They must stop use of pellet guns and targeting innocent civilians,” said Wahid’s fatherKhursheed Ahmad, a tailor by profession.
A shopkeeper of DooniwariChattergam, Shahid Ahmad Lone, who has been hit by pellets in left eye, is also undergoing treatment at SMHS hospital.
“He was on way to shop when he was hit by pellets. He has been operated by doctors and they told us that they are not sure whether he will regain vision or not. We are shocked,” said his brother Adil Ahmad.
Medical Superintendent, SMHS, Dr SaleemTak said they received eleven pellets injured from Budgam. “They are undergoing treatment and few of them were operated also,” he said.
At SKIMS Bemina, two youth from Chattergam hit by pellets in eyes were operated.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS Bemina Dr Shifa said they received four pellet-hit youth.
“Two of them have injuries in eyes and they were operated. Two who have pellets in head and they undergoing treatment,” she said.
In 2010, pellet guns were introduced in Kashmir to help control violent mobs but proved devastating.
Three days ago, a 20-month -old baby, HibaNisar of Kaprin village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district became the youngest pellet victim after being hit by pellets in right eye. The doctors have said they are not sure whether she would regain the vision in her eye damaged by pellets.
mansoorpeer@risingkashmir.com