Pellet Guns in Kashmir Turn 12 Blind in 4 Yrs

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SRINAGAR: The records provided by the two major hospitals of the Valley, under Right to Information Act (RTI) Wednesday revealed that more than 165 people were seriously injured including 12 who lost eye sight due to pellet gun injuries during last four years.

According to Department of General Surgery SKIMS Medical College Bemina has stated that from the year 2010 to 2013, 53 suffered bullet injuries while the number of people who were injured by pellet guns has been shown as 118. 

According to Deputy Medical Superintendent 7 people were admitted in the hospital who had received injuries in different blasts. The maximum number of injuries suffered by people through bullet and pellets were reported in 2010.

A prominent citizen Abdul Manan Bukhari had sought information from GMC and its Associated Hospitals under Right to Information Act about the total number of patients admitted in the SMHS Hospital Srinagar and the total number of deaths observed due to the excessive use of cluster of pellets by pellet guns used by the police and CRPF from 2010 to 2013.

About the total number of patients admitted in the SMHS Hospital Srinagar with pellet gun injuries from 2010 to 2013, the Hospital authorities has stated that there were in 2010 36 persons were admitted in JVC Bemina for bullet injuries while 100 people had suffered pellet injuries. “in 2011 only one person was admitted in the Hospital for his bullet injuries while 13 persons suffered bullet injuries and 7 people were injured during blasts during 2012. 18 persons had pellet injuries while 3 persons injured with bullets during the year 2013,” the Hospital Authorities maintain.

Department of General Surgery SKIMS Medical College Bemina to a query has maintained that from January 2010 to October 2013, nineteen (19) patients were in Ophthalmology department out of which 15 patients required surgery. It further stated that total number of patients who got visually disabled by one eye was 12 and those became permanently blind were two (2).

To a query about the total number of deaths observed due to the excessive use of cluster of pellets by pellet guns used by the police and CRPF from 2010 to 2013, the Hospital authorities have stated that that ‘deaths are nil’.

To a query sought from the Hospital Authorities under RTI Act, Deputy Medical Superintendent has maintained that, “no report or paper has been conducted by the doctors in the departments of Ophthalmology or any other department of this hospital.”

The applicant has contested by information provided by SMHS Hospital about the total number of persons suffering pellet injuries.

The information provided by the PIO, SMHS Hospital Srinagar through Communication number RTI/SMHS/7373-74 dated 6/12/2013 shows the Pellet Gun Injuries from 2010 to 2013 to forty-seven (47) while the applicant has claimed that number of patients admitted in SMHS Hospital whose complete records including their MRD numbers he possess does not figure anywhere in the list handed over to him by Hospital Authorities.

The applicant said that SMHS has provided vague information and has violated the norms of RTI Acted.

“Why the names of youth like Aquib Ahmed Wani (MRD no. 49876), Muzamil Qayoom (MRD no. 81789), Tariq Ahmed (MRD no. 81586), Mushtaq Ahmed (MRD no. 106698) and Waseem Ahmed (MRD no. 8502) whose record I possess are missing from the injured list. It amply makes it clear that Hospital authorities have provided vague information and have distorted the facts,” Bukhari said adding that he has no alternative but to take legal action if accurate details are not provided to him. With inputs from CNS

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