SRINAGAR: The chief medical officer of SKIMS hospital at Soura has provided information on the number of injured that the hospital has treated in the past one month. The CMO said that the hospital admitted a total of 347 patients with injuries, of which 26 patients had bullet injuries, 66 had pellet injury in one eye, 2 had pellet injury in both eyes, and 2 injured lost their lives in the hospital. 15 others were admitted with physical assault injuries. At present, there are five patients with bullet injuries at the hospital, three of them in the surgery ward and two in the orthopaedic ward.
Among these five patients with bullet injuries is Abdul Hamid, 28, resident of Aripathan, Budgam. He said that government forces fired at him and a few others when they were buying newspapers and other stuff in the market on Tuesday.
“It was about 8am in the morning. I along with two others went to get the newspaper from the market. There were few people in the market and no one was protesting. The government forces were standing far and we thought we were in no danger. Then, suddenly, they first tried to intimidate us by firing in the air and then they began firing at us. I was hit by a bullet in my abdomen,” Hamid said.
He said that four youths were killed in the firing and two of the injured were in a coma in SKIMS hospital.
Hamid is married and has one son. Hamid works as a labourer.
Muzamil Malik, aged 17, was brought to SKIMS hospital on August 14. Muzamil, too, was hit by a bullet in his abdomen, fired by army soldiers at a village in Budgam. According to doctors, his intestines are irreparably damaged and a part of them has been cut off.
Muzamil said that the army came to Daharmuna village in Soibug area of Budgam after the mid-day prayers on Sunday. The army soldiers brought down the Islamic flags put up by people in the area and trampled on them. People began to protest at this desecration.
“We had not hoisted Pakistani flags; they were Islamic flags. The army came at 3:45pm and brought down the flags and stepped upon them. We couldn’t stand this violation against our religion and everyone came out in protest. They fired bullets indiscriminately at us and I was hit in my abdomen,” Muzamil said.
Muzamil said that five people sustained bullet injuries in the army firing. Many more were injured when the army physically assaulted them.
Muzamil’s father Mohammad Yousuf Malik added that the army and other government forces were making night raids from 12:30 am after the incident and throwing stones and damaging property to scare people. “Youths are scared to stay in their houses at night. The majority have fled to other villages. Some sleep in rice fields. The army soldiers enter our houses, beat women and children, molest girls. They even loot our shops, taking essential supplies with them. They want to kill us by starving us,” Malik said.
Doctors treating Muzamil said that a major surgery is yet to be done and the recovery may take more than three months.
Residents of Soibug, which is a few kilometres from Daharmuna, said that when they heard the army had insulted Islamic flags, they came out in protest. “The army and government forces fired pellets and bullets at the peaceful protesters,” they said.
In that firing, Ahmad Malik was hit by a bullet in his leg. He is being treated at SKIMS hospital. He said that two others were hit by bullets in the firing.
Ahmad was brought to the hospital on a motorcycle, in which time he lost plenty of blood. Relatives who came to see him said that at Daharmuna the army and government forces were making night raids and beating women and children, destroying property, and looting shops. They said youths were sleeping at mosques and in rice fields to avoid being captured.
Another injured at SKIMS hospital, Bilal Ahmad, aged 30, is from Soibug in Budgam. He said he was not part of any protest. It was after the army firing on August 14 at Daharmuna that the government forces launched an attack on surrounding villages in the evening, in which he was assaulted.
“I was outside my house when I heard that the army was beating people. I ran into my house. They saw me and came after me. I ran to the second floor of my house. They beat me ruthlessly and then threw me out from the window. I broke my leg and arm in the fall. Then they came down, assaulted me again with gun butts and sticks. When my mother and sisters came to my rescue, they, too, were beaten and abused. There are eight children in my house and all of them were beaten.”
Bilal also accused the government forces and army of looting shops and terrorising people during the night at Soibug and nearby villages in Budgam.