Unaware of her surroundings — where dozens are recuperating from injuries like hers — five-year-old Zohra Farooq is busy playing with a hand fan.
Admitted to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital here, where over 200 patients with bullet and pellet injuries have been admitted since the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani sparked protests, Zohra is being treated for pellet injuries. The nursery student was injured along with her uncle and cousin sister on Sunday night.
Asked how she got hurt, she blames firecrackers. “Mujhe current jaisi lagi. Hum mat jalate hai patake ghar main… ab yeh jalate hai (It felt like an electric shock. We don’t burn firecrackers at home, but they burn them now),” she says.
Zohra’s aunt Naseema Jan says that she, her three daughters and Zohra were at the entrance of their house, waiting for her husband Abdul Majeed to bring up the car, when pellets were fired from a police vehicle.
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“My daughter was ill and we were taking her to hospital. We were near the door when pellets hit my daughter and Zohra,” she says. “My husband was also badly injured. He received pellets near the heart and is at SKIMS hospital.”
Tamana, a Class V student from Ganderbal district, was hit by a pellet in her left eye Sunday evening, when she was standing by the window of her house. “She is unable to see. I don’t know if she will be able to see again with that eye,” her father Ashiq Rather said.
Umar Nazir, a 12-year-old, has undergone surgery in his abdomen. His father is unsure about the pellet injury in his eyes. “I do not even know how it happened,” his father Nazir Ahmad said.
In the Anantnag district hospital, more than 10 boys have been admitted, all of them below 15.