Ward 8 of the SMHS hospital has become synonym with the word blindness. In the past nine days, as many as 60 pellet victims with eye injuries, mostly from south Kashmir, have been treated in the ward.
From Ist to 9th May, 115 people were injured by government forces in south Kashmir where five civilians and an equal number of militants were killed on Sunday including top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Saddam Padder and a Kashmir University professor who had joined the militant rank couple of days ago.
As per the hospital figures, of the 115 injured, 74 have received pellets with 60 among them fired on their eyes.
“In the past 9 days we have received over 60 people who had eye injuries due to pellets,” said a doctor on condition of anonymity.
The hospital data reveals that 18 people had bullet injuries and 11 had stone injuries. “Two persons were injured by the tear smoke shells and 10 others had been beaten up by the police.”
A surgeon at the SMHS hospital, who has been treating the injured patients said, “Firing bullets on chest, neck, head and abdomen amply shows the intention of the government forces to kill.”
A doctor said, “The injured civilians from Shopian who were brought to the hospital on Sunday had been fired above the groin, and when you have deep injuries above the groin only God can save you.”
Khurram Parvaiz, coordinator Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), said: “The government forces fire to kill the people, not to deter them. Why don’t they fire bullets and pellets below the waist? Why do they fire only in the eye or chest? They (forces) need to be questioned.”
Pertinently, in the 2016 uprising, the ward had witnessed the blinding of scores of young boys and girls by the pellets fired by the government forces.