Ground Report | Scarred by Pellet Injuries, Kashmiris Are on Edge

Many injured by pellets reportedly refused to register themselves at hospitals out of the fear of being tracked down

3 min read
A security personnel putting up a barbwire fence to cordon off a street in Srinagar.

As the second week of the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir, following the abrogation of Article 370 unfolds, many with pellet injuries have been hospitalised in and around Srinagar. This comes after the authorities have singularly maintained that the situation in the region is well under control and peaceful.

The Quint found around 10-15 cases of pellet injuries and two of bullet injuries in one of the two hospitals we visited on Sunday, 11 August.

Speaking to The Quint, Ibrahim Khan, who works in Delhi and had gone home to Srinagar’s Soura recently, narrated how he received pellets injuries. He said that he and a three-and-a-half-year old child sustained injuries in the pellet-firing by security forces.

 Ibrahim’s pellet injuries 
Ibrahim’s pellet injuries 
(Photo: Poonam Agarwal/The Quint)

Ibrahim was admitted to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar with injuries on his arms and thighs.

10-15 More Victims of Pellet Injuries

At Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Bemina, in the outskirts of Srinagar, 10-15 cases of pellet injuries have been registered, of which four involve injuries to the eye.

While one person lost one of his eyes, another is gravely injured. Two cases of bullet injuries – one to the arm and the other to the shoulder – have also been registered at the hospital at Bemina.
Register at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences
Register at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences
(Photo: Poonam Agarwal/The Quint)
Speaking to The Quint, a nurse at the hospital said more victims with pellet injuries have come in, but have refused to register themselves for fear of being tracked down by security forces through official records.

The locals’ accounts are in stark contrast to the official narrative. Earlier on Sunday, the Jammu and Kashmir police tweeted a press release attributed to the Chief Secretary and DGP of Jammu and Kashmir which claimed they “have not fired a single bullet in six days” and that “the situation is calm”.

The IGP of Kashmir also released a video statement in a similar vein.

‘People Will Hit the Streets’

Despite the administration’s repeated assertion that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is normal, locals tell a different story.

People admitted in the hospital refused to speak to The Quint on record as the region remains fraught with fear.

A doctor in one of the two hospitals visited by The Quint said that people in Kashmir will certainly go out on the streets once the curfew is relaxed.

The doctor, who has been staying in the hospital for the past seven days, divulged the trouble doctors are facing to reach their workplace after the clampdown was enforced.

A nurse who works at the same hospital as him resounded his concerns and talked about the length of time it took her to reach the hospital on 5 August even though she lives only a kilometre away.

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