News Kashmir Exclusive
Kashmir is witnessing unprecedented suffocation, siege in the current wave of 2016 agitation that erupted after killing of Burhan Wani, Hizb Commander. From North to South, Central to remote parts life is paralyzed in Kashmir since more than one month now.
Downtown areas of Srinagar city also known as the old city areas and entire South Kashmir belt from Kakapora to Qazigund are under virtual siege . In North Kashmir, Frontier District of Kupwara is most volatile. Protests, curfews, arrests, blinding and maiming on account of pellet guns is the only news emanating currently from Kashmir .
Tempers are running high in each and every part of Kashmir valley especially after the killing spree of civilians . Just a few days back, a guard at an ATM booth was found dead, with hundreds of pellets fired from close range, officials and residents said.
The cause of Riyaz Ahmad Shah’s death was confirmed by an autopsy report. Official sources revealed that doctors who performed the post-mortem found over 300 pellets in his abdomen. The volunteers working in hospitals are revealing the horror that the Kashmir is witness to with the breakdown of state machinery looking imminent.
Muhammad Tauseef Mir , President Youth Council and one who has worked closely these days in hospitals while talking to News Kashmir states – “ I have seen the enormous brutality witnessed by Kashmir since past few weeks. Felt heart wrenched recently to discover a young brother from Pulwama who was earlier discharged from the hospital whom I had seen nearly 20 days back at the ophthalmology ward with pellet injuries in one of his eyes admitted at the hospital yet again. He was among the first lot of pellet (eye) victims admitted at the SMHS. Upon my enquiry he told me that since day first he had been played upon; with his surgery delayed every day. Many a times including few days he was made to wait at the Operation theatre and later sent back to the ward without being operated upon. Hope he is attended by the Doctors soon before his other eye also gets involved. There are similar other stories too.
With all this happening and over the days of my work at SMHS hospital Srinagar I have discovered a hybrid of suppression and pretence being employed by the state and its functionaries to deal hidden blows to the browbeaten people:
1: As per our informal conversations with some staff members, the hospital claims to have operated about 206 pellet (eye)patients out of 262 admitted there so far. Out of this 3 have been rendered fully blind and 3 happen to have lost one eye. But the fact is many of the patients like the above mentioned case were sent home after a superficial treatment of a few days and with pellets still stuck in their eyes to be called for follow-up after a few weeks, just to not let the people and media know how many are being blinded by the state. Moreover, the initial eyewash and first-aid of the eye is being counted as surgery to inflate the figure of surgeries performed like above, whereas the most of the patients who are returned home have hardly regained their vision. In a way the state is actualizing its blinding campaign in ways more than one; some hidden and some manifest.
2: Now if the family wants to have a second opinion elsewhere, or get the patient treated outside the hospital does not give the medical records of the patients. The patients as such are discharged without any medical documents, which the hospital denies the patients. It anyways creates a major hindrance in the cure and treatment of the patients.
3: Many of the family members of the patients have been complaining of regular calls from police to enquire about the patient, just to further mentally suppress and harass them and bundle up the patient as soon as he is out of the hospital in a stable condition.
4: The patients and their attendants are given medicine, food and other stuff by voluntary organizations belying the tall claims of the government that they are providing the stuff. For instance one of the camps that I have been volunteering with has a daily consumption of about 4 and half quintals of rice (approx 5000 plates), around 20Kg mutton for soup, tea and bread worth 15000 bucks approx, etc. and there are many other camps working on similar scale and lines….similarly many other medicinal camps distribute medicine worth lakhs daily, and the government is literally nowhere in doing its bit unlike its claims.
As such all the claims are mere eyewash, everything is done by the people further consolidating the fact that we are worth independence.”
Unambiguously, Kashmir is under complete suffocating siege currently.