A three-member team of eye specialists from AIIMS were rushed to Jammu-Kashmir Wednesday to assist the state government in treating pellet injuries suffered by those protesting against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
“Health Minister J P Nadda has directed a three member high level team of eye specialists from AIIMS in New Delhi to be sent to Jammu and Kashmir to assist the state in providing medical care to the persons injured in the on-going law and order problem in the State,” an official statement said adding that the team has reached the state.
As of July 11, doctors at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital performed 92 eye surgeries. The 72-bed ophthalmology ward inside the hospital is filled with mostly young patients. The hospital authorities, who say they are overburdened with patients, had to make room for more in the adjoining medicine war to accommodate the rush.
The pellets used by security forces to quell protests can leave a permanent damage, with the possibility of loss of eyesight.
Earlier today, former chief minister Omar Abdullah appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send eye specialists to the state. Abdullah, in a series of tweets, asked PM Modi to send eye/trauma specialists just like he brought with him burn specialists after the Kollam fireworks tragedy.
“Pls don’t let the fact that these youngsters people have been injured in protests stop us from giving the best care possible. Thank U jenab,” Abdullah tweeted.
READ | Pellets take a toll, 92 eye surgeries and counting
Kashmir was on boil in the last few days after Wani was killed in an encounter by security forces. So far, 35 lost their lives in clashes with security personnel in the state. Protesters pelted stones and set fire to police vehicles in most parts of south Kashmir. Separatist leaders called for a complete shutdown in the Valley. After days of unrest, today was relatively quiet with no untoward incidents reported, barring a few clashes.
PM Modi and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appealed for calm and promised action against police personnel who used “excessive force” while controlling the protesters.