Many faces disfigured, jaws broken by stones

By Nouman Parvez
SRINAGAR: Doctors at the Dental College in Srinagar have informed that they have operated on 25 patients whose jaw bones were fractured by stones in the past three weeks. They said that most of these patients had multiple fractures in their facial bones, and their faces were disfigured badly.
They also said that they have treated scores of patients who had alveolar or tooth fractures, caused by stones.
“It was heart-wrenching for us to see such vital injuries and their faces mutilated,” said one of the doctors at the hospital who had performed surgeries on such patients.
Patients with dental fractures have to face an additional difficulty, that of buying platinum rods from the market, as only stainless steel plates are available at the dental hospital.
Patients with injuries caused by stones have not attracted much attention amid the hundreds of pellet and bullet injuries. The Dental College in Srinagar has been ignored by the many volunteer organisations that are providing help to patients at the general hospitals such as SMHS and SKIMS.
The injuries caused by stones are not less painful and debilitating than those caused by pellets. A young man from Nawa Kadal area of Srinagar is admitted at the trauma ward of the Dental College at Shireen Bagh, writhing in pain and his face disfigured.
His elder brother, attending to him at the hospital, said that he had multiple fractures in his facial bones. He said that his brother was not part of any protest and had only gone out to buy bread for his family. There was stone-pelting going on in a locality, from which he tried to run away, but the government troops chased him and when they caught him, they dragged him by the collar and thrashed him. While he was being beaten, a large stone hit him on his face.
“He is not able to eat. As his facial bones have been broken, any slight movement in his mouth creates severe and shooting pain. He is surviving on glucose which has been injected in his vein,” his brother said.
Doctors said that the young man had suffered fractures in his temporal bone, infra-orbital fracture, and his mandible, or lower jaw bone, has been broken into two parts.
“He has to undergo surgery but for that we need platinum plates, which are costly, and which his family cannot afford,” the doctor said.
“We have temporarily sealed his mouth until the availability of platinum plates. Once the family brings them, we will conduct the surgery,” said the doctor at the trauma ward.
His brother rued, “We are from a poor family. From where will we get money to buy platinum plates? Each plate costs more than five thousand rupees. My brother has three fractures. What will we do in such conditions?”
Amir from Bijbehra is another patient who is from a poor family and is waiting for surgery. He has multiple fractures in his facial bones.