Blinded Eid

Farzana Mumtaz

Eid al-Adha (, “Festival of the Sacrifice”), also called the “Sacrifice Feast” or “Bakr-Eid”, is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two. On this eid, pain and gloom have engulfed Kashmir as on every nook and corner suffering is visible. Protesters shot dead by Government forces and above all those blinded by pellet guns represent the tyranny faced by Kashmir . Kashmir valley has been turned into valley of blind via brutal use of pellets .

The SMHS hospital that receives only critical patients from 10 districts and caters to the city patients, is overwhelmed with cases of pellet injuries since July 9, a day after Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani was killed.

More than  15 per cent of those injured by pellets since July 9 are below the age of 15 and face complicated surgeries.

More than three  hundred protesters have been partially or completely blinded  in Kashmir due to use of  lead-pellet guns by security forces to quell the worst violence in the region for six years.

The  victims like  eight-year-old Asif Rashid and 13-year-old Mir Arafat, both of whom were hit by pellets fired by government forces to disperse protesters in Khanabal area of Anantnag  have represented the tyranny caused by pellets  .

Few weeks back, Hundreds of pellets penetrated Arafat’s body, from his face to the lower abdomen. The pain of pellet victims is immense .“Please, father, do something. I am dying with pain,” shouted Arafat, weeping in the intensive care unit of Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital here in Srinagar.

On the global radar, Insha Mushtaq, young school going girl has represented the sufferings and blinding caused  to people of Kashmir.

She  has lost both her eyes after security forces lobbed a pellet grenade inside her house in south Kashmir’s Shopian district’s Sedow Village.

Insha Mushtaq was admitted to Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) of Shri Maharaj Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital here for several weeks and doctors are battling to remove over hundreds of  pellets which had gone deep into her brain and before few weeks she was shifted to AIMS at Delhi.

Insha’s father Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, while Speaking to News Kashmir from Delhi stated – “We have gone through immense pain since Insha was injured badly due to pellets, even after so many days pellets are being taken out from different organs. On this painful day when she got hit by pellets she had entered her room and just after opening window got hit by volley of pellets fired by Government forces. Her vision has been shattered and our world has come to halt.I had dreamt of making her achieve big in career, we are in deep pain.”

Without an iota of doubt, Eid Fervor this time around is dampened in Kashmir  among killings, sufferings, maiming, blinding and suffocations.