SHOPIAN: Arshid Ahmad Dar, 22, a resident of Sarab village in Shopian is one of the worse victims of horror unleashed by the government forces in Kashmir during 2016 summer to quell a massive public uprising. Dar has been blinded with pellets showered at him by the government forces at Nickas village of Pulwama where he had gone to buy a quantity of rice to replenish the depleting stock at his home.
Arshid was targeted on July 29, 2016, when the uprising triggered by the killing of famous Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was entering into third week.
“I was not part of any protest. I had gone to Nickus village to fetch a sack of rice. It was Friday and I tried to go to the mosque to offer congregational prayers. The prayers were followed by peaceful protests. The protesters were waylaid by the government forces who showered pellets. The forces targeted me. I fell down unconscious and later came to know that both of my eyes have been damaged,” he narrated his woeful tale.
He said that after undergoing a prolonged treatment, he is not able to see anything. “I can notice that something or object is in front of me but I can’t make out what the object actually is,” he said.
“I am helped by my family members to walk around even inside the home. When my parents are out in the fields, it becomes difficult for me to move around. I usually bump into walls,” he said.
He said that on seventh surgery the doctors put some oil like medicine in his eyes, which has not been removed so far.
Arshid remains confined to a room in his house for the past one and a half year. “As many as 150 pellets have hit my body including five pellets on left eye and three on the right. Despite seven surgeries I am not able to see anything,” he said.
Arshid’s 58-year-old father Ghulam Muhammad Dar told Kashmir Reader that it cost him Rs 9 lakh on seven surgeries and medicines for the treatment of his son’s eyes but still have no hope whether his son regains the eye sight. “I have only three kanals of land and no other source of income. Before Arshid’s injuries I laid foundation for raising a new house but the dream seems to remain unfulfilled,” he said.
He said that the yield of his orchard was insufficient to even compensate for the fertilizers.
Arshid said that besides other expenses it costs him Rs 1500 per month on a single tube of eye drops prescribed by the doctors of L V Hospital of Hyderabad. “I am not sure how many surgeries I have to undergo. I know one thing that I am restricted to a room and my parents are struggling to meet the two ends. The exorbitant expenses on my treatment kills me. There is nobody who would listen to my problems,” Arshid rued.
Arshid was married a few months before the tragedy fell upon him. His wife gave birth to their first son at a time when he had been blinded and was struggling to coup up with the new challenges in his life.
“Worst thing for a woman is her husband’s absence at the time of childbirth. He was blinded and I was crying for his company in the hospital,” Arshid’s wife said blaming the government forces for ruining her life. “The government forces dashed my hopes to ground. I was a bride and they brought miseries in my life,” she said.
Gulam Mohammad Dar lauds friends, neighbors and relatives for helping them in worse times. “WE need more monetary help for his treatment. I have nothing left now. Every single penny has been exhausted on Arshid’s treatment,” he said.
Arshid’s mother Hafeeza Banoo said she would never forgive the perpetrators of terror who blinded her son. “Look at him. He looks like a fifty year old man. He was earning our livelihood. They (forces) ruined the life of my groom,” she said.
Arshid was a skilled chef and had mastered the art of cooking wazwan feasts at marriages and other gatherings. Arshid’s younger brother is studying in class XII at government higher sec school Shopian.