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J&K: Class X student fell victim to police pellets; Loss of eye sight feared

May 25, 2015 | By

Jammu and Kashmir: A teenager from Palhallan in Baramulla received multiple pellet injuries in his head, face and eyes, in action by paramilitary forces and police. Victim Hamid Nazir Bhat may not live a normal life again as his eye was critically damaged.

Hamid, 16, was on Saturday operated upon in his critically injured right eye by doctors at SKIMS Medical College Bemina.

Not sure about the conditions of the eye, the doctors who performed the surgical procedures said “things would be clear” only after 48 hours.

“Our focus today was the open injury which we have closed successfully,” said DrImtiyaz Ahmad. “The extent of the damage that the eye has suffered is very severe.”

There are at least two pellets stuck in Hamid’s eye. The doctors would take a decision on removing them after 48 hours only since the injuries have resulted in blood clot inside and outside the eye.

The worry for the doctors however is that if the pellets have gone deep into the eye they could have ended up causing damage to the retina, resulting in loss of eyesight.

Hamid Nazir Bhat

Hamid Nazir Bhat

Hamid’s left eye too got hit by pellets. But the doctors said the injury was “only superficial” and it would heal in coming few days.

“He has received dozens of pellets only around his eyes which have resulted in blood clot formation inside and outside the eyes causing swollen face,” said another doctor. “Everything will be clear after 48 hours only and then we will take a decision on removing the clot formation too.”

Hamid was hit by pellet on May 21, the day Kashmir observed shutdown against Hawal massacre.

“There were peaceful protests going on in Palhallan. Hamid , a class 10 student, had gone to see whether his tuition centre was functioning. Suddenly we came to know that Hamid has got injured,” his uncle told Greater Kashmir.

One of Hamid’s friends said paramilitary forces and police fired “indiscriminately” from their pellet guns near a government school on a group of protestors. Hamid, he said, was caught in the firing line and pellets hit his skull, forehead and face.

“In his entire skull the number of pellets is more than 100,” said the doctor.

When Hamid was rushed to SKIMS Bemina for treatment on the fateful day, doctors advised neurological check up at SKIMS Soura after finding that at least two pellets had entered his brain.

“We wanted to find if the pellets had caused any neurological damage. The investigations have shown that the pellets have impacted some part of the brain but there is no damage at present,” said Medical Superintendent of SKIMS Bemina.

Hamid is the latest victim of pellets used by police and paramilitary forces to disperse protestors in Kashmir. The use of pellets, described as “non-lethal” by the government, has resulted in a number of deaths and permanent loss of eyesight to scores of people, especially boys.

The police and paramilitary forces started use of pellet guns in the Valley after summer unrest in 2010 in which over 120 civilians were killed in action by government forces.

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