Pellet-hit Hiba needs multiple surgeries to regain vision

The 20-month-old Hiba, who was hit by pellets in right eye at Kaprin village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday, needs more surgeries, doctors at SMHS hospital said.
Hiba, daughter of Nissar Ahmad of Kaprin village, was hit by pellets in her right eye at her home in forces pellet gun firing on Sunday.

Hiba and her mother were coming out of the kitchen of their home yesterday morning after feeling suffocation due to teargas shelling by forces during clashes in the village. The clashes had broken out after killing of six militants in a gunfight with troops at Batagund, a kilometre away from Kaprin.

Hiba was operated in the eye at ophthalmology department at SMHS hospital and discharged from the hospital today.
She is scheduled to go another surgery in next few days.
Hiba’s 5-year-old brother Shahdat, along with other family members were waiting for her at their home. They broke down after Hiba reached the home.

“We are praying that she recovers fully after the second surgery. Let us hope for the best,” said Hiba’s father, Nissar Ahmad.
Hiba’s photograph with her right eye bandaged was shared widely on social networking sites with many activists reiterating demand for banning pellet gun.
“If the injury would have been on any other organ, there was no problem. The eye being sensitive organ is always susceptible,” said Hiba’s father.
An ophthalmologist at SMHS hospital said he is not optimistic about Hiba seeing again. “The chances of her seeing again are dismal.”
“Pellets have caused damage. The retina and lens of the eye has been damaged. She may need more surgeries. The pellet is still in her eye and it has not been removed yet.” he said.
Medical Superintendent (MS), SMHS, Dr Saleem Tak told Rising Kashmir that Hiba was operated yesterday and needs more surgeries.
“Then we can say about the damage caused by the pellets. Basically, if eye suffers injury, the liquid inside gets leaked and that has been treated,” he said.
Tak said within two or three days, the baby would be operated again.
“We will assess the condition of her eye and improvement after the surgery. And then we can say about the vision,” he said.
At least 10 pellet-hit youth withering in pain are being treated at ward-8 of SMHS hospital and one among them with severe injuries.
In 2010, non-lethal weapons including pellet guns, pepper sprays and chilli grenades were introduced in Kashmir to help control mobs. However, the use of pellets has snatched the vision of many and ruined lives of hundreds of people.
There have been repeated calls to ban use of pellet guns in Kashmir.