A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced in Lok Sabha that an expert committee will be formed to recommend alternatives to pellets in two months, eight more persons were hit by pellets in their eyes on Friday causing damage in at least one eye of the patients.
Officials said eight patients were received at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar after Friday prayers from north Kashmir’s Sopore and Sumbal area, and Awantipora in south Kashmir. Official figures reveal at least 182 patients with eye injuries caused mostly by pellets have been received in the hospital during the fourteen days of protests and over 137 eye surgeries have taken place.
In north Kashmir’s Sopore, people in large numbers after attending the Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid tookout a march but were stopped by the police deployed in the town. “Protesters were marching peacefully and when they saw police vehicles coming they sat down on the road,” an eyewitness said. “But police party directly fired the pellets towards protesters and the pellets were raining for about 15 minutes.”
Junior minister for Health and Medical Education in Jammu and Kashmir government, AsIea Naqash on Thursday during her visit to the hospital had told The Indian Express that she would recommendation a ban over pellets. “I think SMHS hospital has seen most of the patients with pellet injuries. Major surgeries have taken place and attendant rush has been huge,” she had said.