‘Forces snatched smile of cheerful Shabnum’

‘Forces snatched smile of cheerful Shabnum’
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SRINAGAR: A 15-year-old Pulwama teenager has been left with serious damage to one of his eyes after government forces allegedly fired pellets at him during a crackdown in a neighbouring village.
Shabnum Shabir of Goosu, Pulwama in south Kashmir told Kashmir Reader that he was playing in the neighbouring Choye Kalan village with his friends when forces fired pellets towards him leaving him unconscious.
“I was playing with my friends after a cordon in Choye Kalan village ended. But, some policemen targeted me when they were leaving the village in a gypsy,” he said.
Shabnum, a class 8th student, said the injury left him in acute pain after pellets hit his face including his left eye.
“The injury left me unconscious. I was brought to Newa hospital by my friends and neighbours. Failing to treat me, the doctors there sent me to Pulwama hospital where I received first aid treatment before being referred here,” Shabnum, who is admitted in the Ward 8 at SMHS, said.
Doctors treating him said the injury due to pellets has put impact on optic nerve.
“We have cleared his wounds and fixed the openings to prevent infection. He may need more surgeries depending upon the complete assessment,” an Ophthalmologist examining him told Kashmir Reader.
Abdul Hamid, Shabnum’s maternal uncle said forces had targeted him without any provocation.
“He is a very cheerful boy but forces snatched his smile. What was his fault that they left him blind,” he asked.
Hamid said the family has been suffering for the last few years due to blindness of Shabnum’s father.
“How will we bear this trauma and the tragedy that befell upon us?”