Srinagar: The first day of April month proved to be horrific as twenty people died and more than 150 suffered injuries in various gunfights and the aftermath of these encounters.
The scenes of the horror that dawned upon the residents of Shopian and adjacent areas can be seen inside ward number 8 and 7 of Shri Maharana Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital, where youngsters can be seen lying on long rows of beds, eyes shut—some moaning in pain, while others sedated to sleep.
Attendants at the hospital said that pellets were showered without any respite and it was “raining pellets” on the fateful day, piercing almost everyone who came in the way, injuring more than fifty persons, mostly youngsters in the age group 20-30.
On Monday morning the scenes of two patients sharing a single bed were also witnessed, implying the magnitude of injuries during the clashes with the security forces on Sunday.
A youngsters hailing from Shopian, was injured in his right eye when pellets hit him. Lying in his bed, he appeared to be smiling while talking to this reporter. Though his injury was grave and was given a painkiller too, but the pain did not deter him from talking his heart out.
His mother, while insisting not to name him in the report said that if left to him, he can even go at this time and participate in protests.
“He is unstoppable, even after his right eye is damaged badly, he does not seem to be cowed down, I don’t know what’s with him,” she said while wiping her tears.
When asked how he was hit, the young man categorically said that he along with others rushed to the spot where the encounter was on, and while doing that he was hit by the pellets.
“I don’t know, but I couldn’t stop myself from rushing to the spot where the encounter was on. I didn’t want them to die, nobody, who rushed to the spot, wanted those trapped inside the house to die,” the passionate youngster said.
Most of the injured persons who talked to this reporter shared the same feeling and seemed to be in a way rejoicing at the mayhem that turned everything black for them on a bright sunny Sunday.
Another youngster in his twenties, when asked if he feels that he should not have gone to the encounter spot which cost him his eye, categorically negated such a feeling.
“Why should I feel such a thing? If those who have taken up arms are laying down their lives, what difference does this make that I have lost my eye,” he asked.
As per doctors, on Sunday there was a huge rush of such patients who were hit by pellets and were brought to the hospital. Patients with grave injuries stayed, while those were good to go preferred not to stay back.
“In order to decrease the rush of patients, some were discharged on Sunday and some were discharged on Monday morning, and only those who are in need of further treatment were asked to stay put,” said a doctor who attended most of the pellet hit youngsters on Sunday.
As per officials, there are more than 35 such patients who are still admitted for further treatment, the number which is reportedly said to have touched 100 on Sunday, but the officials at the SMHS hospital said that they received only 45 pellet hit cases on Sunday.
“The number was 45 on Sunday, some were discharged and at present there are more than 35 patients undergoing treatment,” said Dr Saleem Tak, Medical Superintendent SHMS.
While saying that the number of pellet hit cases is more than what is claimed. The attendants of patients in ward 8 and 7 said that many preferred to stay back at district hospitals, fearing that they would be arrested on way to Srinagar.
“Many did not come to Srinagar because they feared that they would be arrested by forces, like what happened with two injured persons who were on their way to Srinagar from Shopian in an ambulance. They were stopped somewhere on the national highway, and were asked to go ahead only after they were beaten to pulp,” said an attendant, Muhammad Ashraf, who was accompanying his pellet hit cousin.
Medical Superintendent said that all the patients admitted in the hospital are stable as of now, and will be discharged after further treatment. Dr Tak said “except one patient, whose condition is still critical and is under observation all are stable and will be discharged soon.”