Injured youth avoiding hospitals to evade arrest

Injured youth avoiding  hospitals to evade arrest

Sopore: Young men and boys injured by pellets in north Kashmir are avoiding treatment at hospitals because of fear of being arrested by police. Cops are doing the rounds of hospitals in Baramulla to identify the injured and are also demanding from hospital authorities a list of the injured patients.
The number of injured admitted to Sopore sub-district hospital since July 8 is more than 100, of which 30 were referred to Srinagar hospitals, mostly those with serious injuries in eyes caused by pellets. The number of the injured is constantly increasing, the block medical officer of Sopore, Dr Sami, said.
A doctor at the hospital said that many wounded youth have been treating their injuries on their own because they are afraid of visiting hospitals. A young man injured in Sopore on Tuesday said that youth were avoiding the Sopore sub-district hospital because “cops are on the lookout”.
Some of the injured have entered wrong names in hospital records to avoid detection.
“I was hit by pellets in my back and neck on July 15. But I have not gone to the hospital because of the threat of police. The police are raiding homes of the youth who were treated at the hospital recently. I am taking painkillers on my own, without consulting a doctor,” an 18-year-old told Kashmir Reader.
Small clinics in local mohallas have proved to be of great help to the injured protestors. They provide first-aid and medicines and other medical care.
“I have treated more than two dozen boys since the clashes began in Sopore. We did not take down the names of these boys,” said a medical assistant who runs a dispensary.
Lack of hospital care has made the situation worse for some, though. A 23-year-old who was hit in his left foot with a teargas shell had himself treated at a local medical shop. But after two weeks his wound has still not healed.
“I got basic first-aid in a pharmacy. My foot is hurting like anything, but the fear of being identified and then tortured by the police is keeping me away from the hospital,” the young man said.
Similar is the situation in all north Kashmir districts. The official number of injured as mentioned in hospital records is not the entire picture of the situation in Kashmir.

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