All but 100 civilians have suffered injuries due to pellets fired by cops in the past two years, official data of Srinagar hospitals has revealed.
The data from SKIMS Medical College and SMHS hospital has brought to fore that pellets, as claimed by the authorities, were not a “non-lethal means of crowd control.” The information obtained by the Hurriyat Conference (M) through the Right to Information Act reveals that use of purported “non-lethal” weapon Pellet gun by state forces continues to haunt Kashmiri youth and is still a preferred weapon of the forces to quell the public protests.
In reply to the RTI application filed by Hurriyat member, Abdul Manan Bukhari through Kashmir Rights Monitoring Centre (KRMC), the Public Information Officer (PIO) of SKIMS Medical College under number SKIMS/MCH/24/2016/209-10 Dated 21/01/2016 has disclosed that sixteen patients with pallet injuries were brought to the hospital last year. Nine patients had suffered eye-injuries. The data reveals that two patients were visually disabled, three patients lost eye sight in one eye and one patient recovered though with partial eye sight.
PIO of the SMHS hospital has revealed that 47 injured civilians were brought to hospital suffering from pellet injuries. They were treated in Emergency Department. Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Srinagar in its response reveals that 38 pellet injury patients were admitted from October 2014 to November 2015. And 32 patients with pellet gun injuries required an operative procedure in this department.
Official communication of Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Srinagar further states that “32 patients underwent Surgery the same day and were discharged after few days however these patients didn’t turn up for follow up. So the exact number of patients who lost their eye sight or whose eye sight was impaired is not known.”
According to Kashmir Rights Monitoring Centre, last year a number of youth hit by pellets evaded treatment in Valley Hospitals to escape arrests and persecution by Police but still serious pellet injuries to more than 45 persons were reported during the year.