SRINAGAR, Jul 20: Curfew remained in force across all 10 districts of Kashmir on Wednesday with security forces stepping up vigil in view of the call given by separatists for observing a “black day” to protest the recent killings in the Valley.
A relatively peaceful day was witnessed yesterday in the Valley where the death toll stands at 47 with over 3400 injured in the clashes since Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8. Curfew was imposed to curb the clashes in the aftermath of Wani’s killing in an encounter in south Kashmir.
“Curfew will continue in all the 10 districts of Kashmir Valley today as well,” a police official said. He said the decision to continue the curfew was taken to maintain law and order in the Valley as separatist groups have called for observing a “black day” to protest the recent killings in Kashmir.
Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in strength across the Valley for strict implementation of the prohibitory orders, the official said. He said the situation across the Valley is so far peaceful. Yesterday, the curfew-bound Valley witnessed the first peaceful day since killing of Wani as no major incident of violence took place.
Though there were few minor incidents of stone pelting at four places in Pulwama, Anantnag and Ganderbal districts, the day passed off peacefully in rest of the Valley, the official said. Meanwhile, normal life remained paralysed for the 12th day today due to separatist-sponsored strike, which has now been extended till July 22.
In a joint statement, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Monday said the shutdown in the Valley will continue till July 22. However, they have announced a relaxation of half day from 2 PM onwards tomorrow. The schools and colleges in the Valley continue to remain closed after the government extended the summer vacations till July 25.
Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut, while the Government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance. Mobile telephony and mobile Internet services also remained shut while newspapers failed to hit stands.
As the SMHS and Bones and Joints hospitals witnessed huge rush of injured civilians due to firing by forces in the ongoing unrest in the Valley, doctors and volunteers kept the hopes alive and saved lives of those patients who were in danger.
These two hospitals, which are associated hospitals of Government Medical College, together received 478 patients who were admitted for treatment, including 394 in SHMS and 74 in Bones and Joints hospital till Tuesday. Director SKIMS Soura, Dr A G Ahangar said that the tertiary hospital received 107 injured patients, including 27 with bullets, 42 with pellets, 17 with stones, blast injuries 2, assault by forces 11, and assault by mob 1.
Doctors in SKIMS performed 23 major life saving surgeries and 3 minor surgeries on these patients. “So far 78 patients have been discharged and 15 have been shifted to SKIMS Bemina,” Dr Ahangar said. He said that six patients died in these days. SKIMS (Bemina) received 106 wounded in its IPD. Dr Kaisar Ahmad, Principal GMC told KNS that 405 surgeries were conducted on patients at SMHS, B&J hospital in the last 10 days.
Doctors conducted 23 neurosurgeries, 143 ophthalmic surgeries, 2 ENT, 74 orthopedic and 205 general surgeries on the patients who were injured due to pellets and bullets in the last ten days. Most of the patients admitted in B&J hospital had suffered compound fractures. “In most of the injured patients, bones were shattered and they had compound fractures,” he said.
“As of now, 93 bullet and pellet-hit patients are admitted in SMHS and 17 are admitted in B&J hospital. Rest of the injured persons were discharged from both the hospitals,” he said. Out of 223 pellet injured patients (115 with pellet injuries in the eyes, and 108 with outside eye pellet injuries), one has lost his vision in both the eyes, 10 in one eye.
“It will take 4-6 weeks to see whether these pellet-injured would regain their eyesight or not. We are trying our best so that they can regain maximum eyesight,” he said. 52 civilians had bullet injuries, 12 shell, 33 beating by forces, 22 stones injuries, 3 were injured due to beating by unknown persons.
In district hospitals, 1930 injured patients were treated by doctors including 125 with bullets and 595 due to pellets in the ongoing unrest. The highest number of injured were treated in Anantnag (465), Pulwama (455), Kulgam (309), Baramulla (170), Bandipora (161), Shopian (153), Kupwara (149), Budgam (39) and Ganderbal (29).
Nearly 200 injured persons were operated for major and minor surgeries in these peripheral hospitals.
Doctors in District Hospital Pulwama conducted 50 surgeries while Anantnag 44 and Baramulla 20. The details of patients treated in OPD in these hospitals are not available yet. How these hospitals managed such a huge rush of wounded patients in such emergency situation? GMC principal said that doctors and volunteers kept hopes afloat for these patients.
He appreciated the volunteers who have been camping the premises of these hospitals, providing drinking water, food, and medicine to the patients and their attendants. Dr Kaisar said that volunteers provided the most important help by timely transporting patients to theaters, and other associated hospitals.
“Volunteers managed it very well. It is very appreciable. They maintained completed discipline and avoided the chaos that crowded places, like hospitals witness during such extreme emergency situations.” “Our staff could do their job very well when the volunteers avoided chaos and maintained discipline.”
The Principal praised the doctors, saying that expert doctors from all the departments were kept ready during the emergency. “Best teams were kept available in the hospitals. Coordination and availability of different doctors’ teams saved lives. We can give SOPs to the whole world now given the experience we have treating such patients,” he said.