Blinded Forever

Farzana Mumtaz

Pellet Gun has come to symbolize  new face of tyranny  in Kashmir over the past few years. Loss of Vision, terrible injuries and often fatalities have been aftermath of deadly pellets fired from  pellet guns on humans of Kashmir. Pertinently, a pellet is a non-spherical projectile designed to be fired from an air gun. Air gun pellets differ from bullets and shot used in fire arms because of the pressures encountered: airguns operate at pressures as low as 50 atmospheres, while firearms operate at thousands of atmospheres.

Even during the current wave of unrest, the indiscriminate use of pellet gun is giving nightmare to people of Kashmir with analysis emerging that-“Pellet Guns Are Giving Kashmir’s Young & Restless A Dark Future”. Pellets impact on vision of Kashmiris has been devastating

The brutal pellets have in this current wave of unrest destroyed vision of scores of boys and girls in kashmir.

. Ninth class student Insha Malik  resembles the brutalism inflicted by pellets as she has lost vision in her left eye that was pierced by pellets fired by forces, and doctors say there are “zero chances” of the teenager regaining vision in her right eye, also badly damaged by the pellets. Her case has gained worldwide attention owing to media coverage.

 

14-year old Insha, one of more than 100 pellet victims, few days back was  lying unconscious in the Surgical ICU of general specialty SMHS hospital here. Her face and neck resemble a wire-mesh with dozens of holes made by pellets therein.

Pertinently, Out of the thousands injured are 180 protesters including children and women who were hit by pellets. Reportedly more than 40 have lost their eyesight.

“The pellets have ruptured her right eye and it has come out. The left eye is lacerated with zero chance of recovery,” said a doctor attending to her. Insha hails from Sedow village of south Kashmir’s Shopian.

The doctor added: “She does not even have perception of light in the eye that she is left with.”

The book by Mannan Bukhari titled scars of pellets released last year that depicted pain of pellet victims documents 2010 SKIMS study which shows that from June 2010 to September 2010 alone, 198 patients were identified who had sustained pellet gun-fire wounds with patients ranging from minor age of 6, elder ones being 54. Most of the patients suffer multiple wounds and at instances even 70 to 80 wounds.

 

Bilal Bashir Bhat, a journalist and one who has covered pellet victims states -” Pellet is yet another horrible weapon used against the browbeaten nation of Kashmir as since six years of its inception it has devastated vision of many Kashmiris and Pellet is a round ball loaded with lead. If it penetrates the eye, which is a water ball, damage is done. In this agitation it has been used brutally by government forces to smash the vision of Kashmiris and this pellet represents a blot on the so called democratic credentials of India. It is shame that the authorities are still adamant not to replace this weapon of tyranny. It is high time for conscience voices to impress upon the government to ensure its ban .”

Undoubtedly, Pellet is shattering many a dreams in Kashmir and making people blind forever.

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