91 youth with pellet wounds treated in last 3 years in Kashmir



Ninety one patients with pellet injuries were treated in three years at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital—one of the oldest medical facilities here, Jammu and Kashmir government has said in reply to a Right to Information plea.

In reply to a RTI plea filed by Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the government said thirty six people among the ninety one people had received pellet injuries in their eyes.

The RTI mentions that there have been no deaths due to pellets in the hospital from 2010 to 2013.

“Total number of patients admitted in our Ophthalmology department from 2010 to October 2013 are 36 (18 in 2010, 5 in 2011, 6 in 2012 and 7 in 2013). Out of these 27 open globe injuries and rest were close globe,” the RTI reply said.

In a violation of the state-run human rights commission’s directions, forces continue to use pellet guns to deal with anti-government protesters.

The RTI reply said: “Overall 14 had no chances of regains overall eyesight on initial examination. The fate of those referred outside sate is not known.”

Medical sources say nearly 50 youth have permanently lost eye sight in the last two years due to unbridled use of pellet guns by forces during pro-independence protests in this disputed Himalayan region.

Besides pellet guns, pepper guns, also used by forces to quell pro-independence protests, have also wrecked havoc in the region, claiming many lives. This has triggered massive public resentment in the region. Kashmir’s principal opposition party – People’s Democratic Party – has also demanded ban on the use of pepper and pellet guns.The federal government of Kashmir has justified their use, saying that it is necessary to use them to maintain law and order. Experts believe that use of pepper gas is a potential risk for fatal respiratory illness.

The large-scale use of pellet and pepper guns have drawn widespread outcry in Kashmir. Observers say the method violates the basic norms of human rights and must be banned.


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