Half-blinded, maimed by pellets, Shopian man struggles to resume life

Half-blinded, maimed by pellets, Shopian man struggles to resume life
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Trenz (Shopian): Gulzar Ahmed Mir, a tractor driver from Trenz village of district Shopian, recounts the horror of pellets showered on his face and body when he was beaten up by government forces on August 8, 2016 at Keegam village of the district.
“I went to Keegam to claim money from a few people who owed it to me. There were some clashes between the government forces and stone-throwers. As the stone-throwers dispersed, I reached the spot without having any inkling of what had happened. The forces targeted me and showered me with pellets. When I tried to escape, they fired another pellet shell into my body. I fell down on the ground. They dragged me and beat up me for half an hour,” Mir recounted.
“Five policemen were ruthlessly beating me up. A paramilitary officer who was there told those policeman to leave me but they still beat me with sticks and metal rods,” he said.
He said that the policemen threw him in roadside bushes at the periphery of Keegam village suspecting he might have died due to blood loss. “They thought I had died and threw me into bushes. The villagers later told me that someone discovered me in an unconscious state and escorted me to SMHS Hospital, Srinagar,” Mir recalls.
He was admitted for three months at SMHS Hospital and underwent five surgeries in both eyes. One eye healed, but the other is still dysfunctional. “I spent Rs four lakh on different surgeries in Ratna Hospital, Indore, in Maharashtra and at SMHS in Srinagar,” he said.
Mir added that he was also admitted to Ratna Hospital, Indore, for a month and had had two eye surgeries in both eyes. “My left eye is good now after the two surgeries, but the right eye is still blinded, and for that I have to go to Indore again for another round of surgeries,”
“The forces broke my ribs and left leg with blows. Despite my months-long treatment, I still have a fracture in my right rib. Now I am not able to drive my tractor or do any household work. I am not able to walk properly as well,” Mir said.
Mir is seething with anger against the government forces who wreaked havoc on his life.”The government forces treat us like animals,” he said. “I was not involved in stone-throwing or any other provocation, but they ruined my and my family’s life,” he said.
Mir’s elder son, 17-year-old, has now taken over the responsibility of his family. He has to feed a family of five including his two siblings and parents.
Worse, Mir has been summoned to police station umpteen times despite the tragedy that befell him. “I didn’t go as I am unable to walk or see, but look at the nonsensical attitude of the forces who called me by phone to present myself at police stations,” Mir said.

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