By Shafat Mir
Khudwani (Kulgam): Yasir Fayaz Kar, a 17-year-old boy who lives in Khudwani area of Kulgam district, had gone to his friend’s place for an overnight stay in Malangpora village of Pulwama district on March 8. The two boys had planned to go to the Islamic University of Science and Technology the next day to enquire about the admission process to the BBA course (Bachelors in Business Administration). On the way to the university, they heard that a gunfight between two local militants and government troops was going on at Padgampora village. The two boys joined the crowd of locals who were going to see what was happening in Padgampora.
“As we reached near the encounter site, we saw a large number of local youths pelting the government troops with stones. A policeman fired his pellet gun towards these youths. Many of the pellets struck me in my chest, face and eyes. I lost all consciousness except of the pain. I don’t know who picked me up and took me to the hospital,” Yasir told Kashmir Reader.
Yasir said he was provided first-aid at Kakapora hospital and from there he was rushed to SMHS in Srinagar.
Yasir’s brother, Zahid Ahmed, said the family was completely unaware of what had happened to Yasir. “I was outside my home when someone informed me that Yasir had been injured and admitted to SMHS. Without letting anyone know, I rushed to Srinagar. I was devastated to see that both his eyes had been hit by pellets and he may never be able to see again. Our mother came to know of it in the evening. Neighbours stopped her from going to Srinagar in the evening,” Zahid said.
Yasir had passed his Class 12 exams and wanted to study business administration in college. He is the youngest of his siblings, all of whom are students. Their father, Fayaz Ahmed, is a labourer by profession and the only earning member of his family.
“I dreamed of studying for a BBA and then for an MBA,” Yasir said. “But I am not the only one whose dream was shattered by India. Hundreds of youths in Kashmir have had their dreams snatched from them. I was near an encounter site when I was hit by pellets, but what was the fault of Insha and other girls who were inside their homes?”
Yasir’s right eye is now completely blind. Doctors have said he will never be able to regain vision in it. His left eye has some vision left. Doctors have suggested a surgery that may restore vision in his left eye. The surgery costs 2 lakh rupees.
“Our father had saved some money as we were planning to start some small business in the future. All those savings were spent on Yasir’s treatment. But the only thing that is important for our family right now is saving the one eye of my brother. We will do everything possible for that,” Zahid said.
The family is planning to take Yasir to retinal surgeon Dr S Natarajan in Mumbai.
“We are planning to go to Mumbai. We hope Yasir will be able to see with one of his eyes. We haven’t sought help from anybody. Whatever is possible in our personal capacity, we will do that for Yasir,” Zahid said.