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J-K government tells state high court: 42 days, 500 eye injuries

According to the government, 446 people with pellet injuries in eyes have undergone treatment at Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | Srinagar | Published: August 21, 2016 2:37 am
kashmir, kashmir violence, kashmir unrest, kashmir pellets, kashmir pellet guns, kashmir pellet guns injury, Kashmir protests, Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, SMHS Hospital, india news A boy who was hit by pellets fired by security forces in Srinagar. Reuters

NEARLY 500 people have been hit in their eyes by pellets fired by police and paramilitary personnel in Kashmir in the 42 days of protests, and a majority of victims have “multiple structural damage” to their eyeballs, the state government Saturday told Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

According to the government, 446 people with pellet injuries in eyes have undergone treatment at Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital. Most victims would “require two or more surgeries” and follow-up treatment for at least one year, state Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal Ganai said in an affidavit submitted before the court.

In response to Kashmir HC Bar Association’s PIL seeking a ban on use of pellet guns, the government said 412 civilians with serious pellet injuries in eyes were admitted in SMHS’s Ophthalmology department between July 9 and August 15. Of these, 358 patients had “open globe injuries” and underwent primary repair of the injured eyes immediately,’’ the government submitted. SMHS doctors said, since August 15, “34 more cases of serious eye injuries caused by the pellets” have been admitted, taking the number of patients admitted to 446.

A division bench of Chief Justice of High Court N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey asked the government to provide day-wise figures of civilians injured in the protests.

The government submitted the number of victims admitted only in SMHS till August 12. Data from districts across Kashmir, barring Kupwara, shows around 350 civilians with pellet injuries on their eyes were treated at district hospitals since July 9. Dr Shafa Deva, Medical Superintendent of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences College and Hospital, said the hospital saw 75 cases of pellet injuries on eyes since July 9, and 60 of them were operated in the hospital.

In an affidavit submitted before the court Wednesday, Inspector General of CRPF in Srinagar, Atul Karwal, said, “…This (pellet gun) is the only alternative left with CRPF, before use of lethal force. If this (pellet gun) is withdrawn…CRPF personnel would have no recourse but to open fire.”

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  1. M
    Maniktripathy
    Aug 21, 2016 at 5:03 am
    Corrupt Judiciary with its overreach zealous in matters pertaining to security of our nation and mockery of Justice...When you have over lakhs of cases pending, they should have shown the same enthu to take the cases on war footing.No wonder Banana republic where all branches of governance is corrupt and clueless to the core...
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    1. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq
      Aug 21, 2016 at 4:19 am
      Court should take action against the people who sent these children to protest against the security forces. They should understand that security forces are not 'Kamadevas' to fire flower arrows at protesters. If court give any order against the army then army and security forces should refuse to be emplo in Kashmir. Let the state government manage everything.
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        chanakya
        Aug 21, 2016 at 7:48 am
        Very unfortunate.lt;br/gt;Hope people have learnt their LESSONS.lt;br/gt;Govt on their part.lt;br/gt;Citizens on their part.lt;br/gt;It is unforgivable of the adults to have used children as a shield in their attack on government forces.lt;br/gt;Solution to problem:- Abrogate Art 370. Remove JandK Govt. Settle Kashmiri Pandits and 25 lakh people from other Indian states in Kashmir valley.lt;br/gt;Problem is solved.
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        1. Gopikanta Ghosh
          Aug 21, 2016 at 6:08 am
          Unfortunate
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            Mark
            Aug 21, 2016 at 2:36 am
            @George Cruzlt;br/gt;It is laughable that you still think that it is stan being the puppet master here. These are born and bred kashmiris been fed up of Indian occupation. You cannot have this much civil unrest from outside the border which is heavily watched. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;And 'serious offense" that you talk about, does it get placed over the wishes of the people?
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