AT LEAST 1,248 children below the age of 15 were among 9,010 people injured in the crackdown to quell protests triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in a joint operation by police and the Army in south Kashmir on July 8, according to J&K government figures.
Data collected by the state’s Health Department from various hospitals in the Valley reveals that till November 2, the number of injured admitted was 9,010. Among them, 6,205 suffered pellet injuries, 365 had bullet injuries and 2,436 were listed under “other injuries”.
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The data does not specify the nature of “other injuries” but an official told The Indian Express that these were people who had been beaten by police and security forces in the crackdown.
The data also does not specifically list those who suffered pellet injuries in their eyes, but official sources said that ophthalmology units in three top Srinagar hospitals received more than 1,300 such patients. Sources said these patients, most of them young, were either blinded completely or lost their vision in one eye.
The data shows that those who were injured included 243 children below the age of 12 and 1,005 between the ages of 12 and 15.
The data provides a district-wise break-up of the injured in various segments:
* The largest number of injured children were from Kulgam in south Kashmir, including 105 below 12 years old and 280 between 12 and 15 years of age.
* In the frontier Kupwara district of north Kashmir, the injured included 25 children below 12 and 252 between 12-15.
* In south Kashmir’s Pulwama, 52 children below 12 and 136 between 12-15 were injured.
* In Anantnag, 21 children below 12 and 92 between 12-15 were injured.
* In Baramulla, five children below 12 and 154 between 12-15 were injured.
* In Bandipore, 30 children below 12 and 85 between 12-15 were injured.
* In Shopian, four children below 12 and four between 12-15 were injured.
According to the data, the number of children injured was the lowest in central Kashmir where three under 15 years of age were injured in Ganderbal, one among them below 12. In Srinagar and Budgam, no child was reported injured.
The data shows that the highest number of those injured was in Pulwama, where 1,571 were admitted to government hospitals.
From other districts, the number of injured included 1,417 in Anantnag, 1,391 in Kulgam and 1,002 in Shopian from south Kashmir. In north Kashmir, 1,287 were reported injured in Baramulla, 756 in Bandipore and 989 in Kupwara district. The number of injured recorded in the central Kashmir districts was the lowest, with 203 in Srinagar, 257 in Budgam and 137 in Ganderbal.
The records also show that the largest number of people with bullet injuries was from Kulgam, with 117. The others included 80 in Anantnag, 64 in Pulwama, 28 in Budgam, 27 in Shopian, 20 in Kupwara, 18 in Baramulla, six in Bandipore, three in Srinagar and two in Ganderbal.
Similarly, the largest number of people injured by pellets was in Baramulla, with 1,078. The rest included 1,046 in Pulwama, 1,029 in Kulgam, 888 in Kupwara, 808 in Shopian, 860 in Anantnag, 183 in Bandipore, 167 in Budgam, 110 in Srinagar and 36 in Ganderbal.
The data shows that four people were injured by Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) shells in Kulgam district — PAVA shells were cleared for use by security forces by the Union Home Ministry as a possible alternative to pellet guns on September 3.