Srinagar: At Ward 15 of SMHS Hospital here, a middle-aged woman Naseem from north Kashmir’s Kupwara district lies motionless along with her 17-year-old son, Rameez.
The mother-son duo was wounded on August 4 when police fired pellets on people protesting against arrest of three children in the frontier area.
Naseem, a homemaker, shivers when asked about the fateful day. "It was a doomsday. My son had gone out when protests began. I got worried and left home searching for him when suddenly cops trained gun on me and I sensed an electric shock-like current passing through my body. Blood started oozing out body, followed by intense pain and I fainted,” Naseema recapped.
Though herself injured, the mother is more concerned about her more wounded son.
His body bears multiple perforations, all visible to human eye. As cotton sheet covering his bare body is removed, doctors count more than 300 wounds, mostly swollen as reddish black blisters.
“On touching his perforated chest, one can feel air entering his body through the tiny, deadly pores,” said a doctor.
Rameez’s medical records vide MRD number 74353 reveal that patient’s condition continues to be “critical”.
Suddenly, a phone call to one of his attendants leaves everyone worried. “Police has again asked his father about Rameez’s return from hospital as they need him for questioning and detention,” says the youth who responds to the phone call.
Upon learning about threat, the patients and start crying. “His life is over. While he is dying of internal injuries, police fear is killing him by inches,” the mother cries.
Trying to console the patient in critical condition, others ask the family not to lose heart, but take inspiration from others, particularly, a teenager admitted in ward-12.
Since August 5, this teenager is alone as no one from his family could attend him due to the strict curfew back home in south Kashmir.
Volunteers look after him. As per his medical records, the boy has suffered “multiple pellet injuries over chest, abdomen and upper hips.” He is unable to utter a word, and his condition is also critical.
His attendant, however, is apprehensive that policemen in civvies have already taken his details for the registration of FIR.
Though over 1000 wounded have been brought to SMHS Hospital for treatment since July 8 when Kashmir erupted in the wake of killing of militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the doctors said most of the patients left the treatment midway for fear for police case.
Prominent medico and Doctors Association of Kashmir President Dr Nisarul Hassan said: “It’s mostly the critically wounded who stay back whereas others have been fleeing the hospital midway their treatment.”
He said leaving the treatment midway could prove fatal for the patients. “Though pellet wounds are minute, they leave behind big health complicacies. Anything can happen anytime, such patients need constant medical care and treatment,” he cautioned.
Similar reports poured in from other hospitals including SKIMS Soura and B&J Hospital Barzulla where from the wounded have also been fleeing away for fear of police.
Doctors said they had appealed to the Peoples Democratic Party government to give up profiling or registration of cases against the wounded in street protests on “humanitarian grounds.”
“This is a worst sort of human rights abuse that instead of feeling ashamed for the use of pellet guns, the government is getting the wounded booked in police cases. Though we had sent an SOS to Chief Minister over this issue, there came no reply,” said a delegation of doctors from Government Medical College Srinagar associated hospitals.
The government on the other hand has already intensified a crackdown against the protesters, including those wounded. While over 1,000 have been detained, the police plan to intensify the crackdown in the coming days.
State Versus Victims Of Its Violence
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