Srinagar: In seven months between July 2016 and February 2017, more than 9,000 people were injured in clashes with government forces, of whom 782 sustained injuries in their eyes, according to data released by the government in the assembly on Friday.
The data revealed that 54 persons were permanently disabled, majority of them blinded in both or one eye. There were also some whose foot had to be amputated, indicating the massive force used to suppress public protests. The data also suggests that massive pro-freedom protests occurred in both north and south Kashmir during this period, while moderate protests took place in Srinagar and other areas of central Kashmir.
Of the 9,042 total injuries to people in the first seven months of the post-Burhan Wani uprising, the highest numbers of injured persons were in Pulwama district, where the figure stood at 1,571, followed by Anantnag where the figure stood at 1,434. In Kulgam it was 1,400, in Baramulla 1,293, in Shopian 1,002, in Kupwara 989, in Bandipora 756, in Budgam 257, in Srinagar 203, and in Ganderbal 137.
According to the government’s figures, this total number includes 6,221 persons who sustained injuries due to pellets fired by government forces. Surprisingly, the highest number of pellet-injured, 1,084, was in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, followed by Pulwama in south Kashmir where the number of pellet-injured persons stood at 1,041. In Kulgam this number was 1,031, in Anantnag 873, in Ganderbal 36, in Kupwara 888, in Shopian 808, in Srinagar 110, in Bandipora 183, and in Budgam 167.
Four persons sustained injuries due to PAVA shells in Kulgam. The total number of other injured stood at 2,449, the data says.
A total of 782 eye injuries were recorded within this period. In Pulwama, 194 persons sustained eye injuries, the maximum, followed by Baramulla where this number was 179. In Anantnag, 86 persons sustained eye injury, in Bandipora 21, in Budgam 21, in Ganderbal 3, in Kulgam 34, in Kupwara 151, in Shopian 76, and in Srinagar 9.
According to the data, 54 persons sustained permanent disabilities, among whom was Insha Mushtaq, the teenage girl from Sedow Shopian. Out of this number, 16 persons were blinded fully while 25 were blinded in one eye.
Other injured include two persons whose left foot was amputated, one person who sustained skull injury, one person with a back injury, while others had different kinds of injuries.
The data also reveals the bullet injuries sustained by people in Kashmir during the seven months. It puts the number of bullet injured at 368. Out of this number, 120 persons sustained bullet injuries in Kulgam, in Anantnag 80, in Pulwama 64, in Srinagar 3, in Shopian 27, in Kupwara 20, in Budgam 28, in Baramulla 18, in Bandipora 6, and in Ganderbal 2.
However, according to data collected from various medical sources earlier and widely published in newspapers, more than 1,000 persons sustained eye injuries in one or both eyes during this seven-month period, and about 300 persons were left fully or partially blind. The data from newspapers says that the number of total injured within this period was close to 15,000.