Srinagar: In occupied Kashmir, at least 500 of pellet victims are teenagers and most of them are students who are still recuperating. A report published in a local English daily Kashmir Monitor has revealed the number of students who became victims of pellets by Indian forces and are struggling to get â€œsome visionâ€ back in their affected eyes. Of 1,065 pellet victims admitted at SMHS hospital, and Soura Institute of Medical Sciences with injuries to globe of eye, 523 are below the 20 years of age. The figures further revealed that 101 victims are under 15 years in age, with youngest pellet-hit person a girl child aged 4.
The age data pertains to pellet injuries over a period of 100 days starting July 9, 2016 â€“ the day protests broke out in occupied Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a day before. Furthermore, 370 victims with pellet injuries in their eye(s) are between the age group of 21-25 years and â€œmany of these are also students of some degree or vocational courseâ€.Doctors told the daily that it takes over a year to recover from an eye injury. â€œThey (victims) have to undergo a round of surgeries, each consuming about a month for recovering,â€ an Ophthalmologist at SMHS Hospital said. â€œMoreover,â€ he said, â€œpatients need to take steps to prevent an eye infection and cannot resume regular activity soon.â€
Among the injured, at least 50 people have been shot in both eyes causing grave, disabling trauma, the doctors said.
Doctors fear that most of those hit by pellets in eye(s) will â€˜never go back to schoolâ€™.