Life shattered by pellets, college student laments and curses ‘forces’

Life shattered by pellets, college student laments and curses ‘forces’

Sakib’s father says he spent `4 lakh to restore his son’s vision

SHOPIAN: Sakib Ahmad Tantray,19, was hit by a shower of pellets on May 18 this year, near the Government Degree College Shopian where he was a BA student. He was among several civilians injured that day, when Hizb commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat was trapped in an encounter at Saimoo village of Tral. Protests and clashes occurred in many parts of south Kashmir that day. In Shopian, clashes broke out at Gagren, Bonbazar, Gol Chowk and other areas.
“As the news of the encounter spread, protests erupted all across the town. The same was the case in Gagren, where the Government Degree College is situated. College authorities told us to leave the college as the protests were taking a violent turn,” Sakib, half-blinded by pellets, said.
Sakib said he was trying to find safe shelter that day. “They (government forces) didn’t care that we may get killed by their pellets. Like me, hundreds of students are suffering due to the blessings of our own policemen,” he said.
“As everyone was leaving the college, I and my friends did the same. When we reached the main road, there came a police Rakshak vehicle. When the policemen in it saw us, they showered us with pellets, without any reason. It left all of us injured (the three friends),” Sakib said.
Sakib said he sustained injures on his entire face and body. The other injuries have healed but not his left eye.
“Somebody took me to the Shopian hospital, from where I was referred to SMHS Srinagar.
Four pellets had pierced Sakib’s left eye. Surgeons were able to remove three of those; the fourth is stuck there.
Bashir Ahmad Tantray, father of Sakib, said that he had spent Rs 4 lakh on five surgeries at SMHS and Amritsar hospitals to rescue his son’s vision, but the boy is still not able to see from the left eye. “He recently skipped the paper of Islamic Studies of his BA exams. He is not able to concentrate on books,” Bashir said.
Sakib said he is not able to see small print or text. “Whenever I try to study, my right eye becomes exhausted and tears come out of it. I was not able to write in the exams. The letters looked blurred,” he said.
“It kills me inside. I feel depressed. I was punished for no crime. My studies stopped due to the cruelty, the brutality of forces,” Sakib said.
He said that doctors advised him to stay on bed in a particular position for two months. “During the operation, they put some oil-like substance in my eyes and said that it must not be shaken. Remaining on bed was very hard in a particular position. Everything has gone dark for me. Now I have to undergo another surgery as one of the pellets is still stuck in my left eye,” the young man lamented.



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