Srinagar: At SMHS hospital ward number 16, twelve-year-old Umar Nazir Shah is being fanned by an attendant to relieve the burning sensation he is feeling all over his body. The burning sensation is because of pellets, tiny iron pieces that have become lodged in his entire body, and have already blinded him in one eye.
His skin perforated and his chest and abdomen swathed in bandage, the child tells the doctor who comes to visit him, “I am not able to see through my left eye as well.”
Ophthalmologist Dr Sajad says that pellets are lodged in both the eyes of the child but he could regain vision to some extent in one eye.
“He is seeing a blur in his left eye because of a medicine that has been administered to him. Once we withdraw it, he will not feel that. We will be able to help him regain his vision,” the doctor said.
Umar was not able to talk when he was admitted to hospital on Sunday but for the past two days he has been able to speak in a feeble voice.
When this reporter asked his father about his son’s age, Umar replied with his eyes shut: “I am 12 years old,” he said and fell silent again.
Umar’s father Nazir Ahmad Shah was offering funeral prayers for a slain youth in a neighbouring village at Pulwama on Sunday morning when Umar was hit by pellets.
“Clashes were going on in the area, during which the forces fired upon people at Haal (in Pulwama). The phone network was suspended and I had no news of Umar,” Nazir Ahmad said. “I reached the hospital in the afternoon when Umar was being operated there.”
When a team of specialists from New Delhi’s AIIMS hospital saw him on Thursday, they said that Umar would have to be operated twice for his eye injuries, his father told Kashmir Reader.