Anantnag: With a bullet embedded deep into his neck, right next to the jugular vein, and doctors “hesitant” about a surgery, 18-year-old Ubaid Shabir Bhat stares at an uncertain future.
Ubaid, a BA Ist-year student at Government Degree College Anantnag, is son of a small time apple farmer, Shabir Ahmad Bhat, from K Kalan village of Bijbehara in Anantnag district.
Being uneducated himself, Shabir had made sure that his sons Ubaid and Shahid study well-more so after their mother died in 2013.
“Ubaid is a very good student. He secured 77 per cent marks in his 12th class examination. I had high hopes for him. But now, I just want him to live,” a tearful Shabir told Kashmir Reader at his home in K Kalan.
It was the morning of June 22 when Ubaid along with hundreds of other villagers reached nearby Nowshehra village, where four militants of the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM), vowing allegiance to ISIS, were fighting government forces.
The militants were killed and a policeman as well. Two civilians were also shot dead during the encounter and twenty others injured, nine of them with bullets, as forces opened fire at civilians around the site of the encounter.
Ubaid was among nine youth who sustained bullet injuries. Ubaid remembers almost everything of the fateful day.
“I was there with many other people, some distance away from the site of the encounter,” Ubaid told Kashmir Reader, “No one was pelting stones. We were just watching, with the impression that we were a safe distance away,”
It looks like Ubaid was not at a safe distance at all.
“I remember everything in perfect order. All of a sudden some uniformed men appeared some distance from where we were standing and opened fire,” he said. Ubaid did not fall or lose consciousness. He remained conscious all along.
“I felt something burst in my neck. I reached out with my hand and could feel a huge lump. Then blood oozed all over,” he said. He was carried by some people in their arms to the main road, then on a motorcycle to Srigufwara hospital, an ambulance to Anantnag district hospital and then to SKIMS in Srinagar.
“I remember everything in perfect order,” Ubaid said.
The teenager was kept in the hospital for around four days, but was not operated upon, -for reasons better known to the doctors. He was discharged and advised to visit after 10 days. The family brought Ubaid home, the bullet still dangerously embedded deep into his neck.
“The doctors had told us they will operate upon him after 10 days. But on July 10, I was given medicine for another ten days and advised to visit on July 19,” Shabir told Kashmir Reader.
Shabir is unable to understand why doctors are not conducting a surgery.
“I did ask them but the answer was a casual, “we will have to wait for now,”” says Shabir. The family now is living in unease and absolute fear as the bullet remains in Ubaid’s neck.
“Apparently it is not causing any problems but it surely will. And the time when it will cause problems is giving me sleepless nights,” Shabir said.
Shabir hopes that the doctors here come up with a clear cut answer on whether they can operate on him or not.