Guwahati: In a shocking incident, a 20-month old toddler was hit in her eye by pellet guns on Sunday, in an encounter that took place between security forces and militants in Indian-administered Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Identified as Hiba, the baby who was hit by pellet guns inside her residence in South Kashmir district has been admitted to Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital. While her parents are trying to distract her with chocolates and sweets following a surgery, doctors say the injury is grave and she might lose her eyesight of one eye.
Clashes broke out between civilians and security personnel soon after the security forces gunned down 7 militants, including Hizbul Mujahideen’s district commanders of Kulgam and Shopian. According to media reports, a civilian was also killed and more than 50 people including little Hiba were injured in the clashes.
Speaking to the Media, Hiba’s mother, Marsala Jan, who hails from Kaprin – Batgund area of Shopian district said, she was in her house with her two kids when the clashes broke out.
It was due to thick smoke which was caused by intense tear gas shelling that his son reportedly began complaining of breathing issues. Following which she took her children out and 3 security personnel fired pellet guns of the mother and kids. The mother further said that she herself got injuries on her hand due to the pellets while she was trying to save her children.
Stating that Hiba's condition still continues to be critical, Doctors at the Ophthalmology department in the SMHS Hospital said, " Her condition is not good. we are keeping our fingers crossed and see how she responds to the treatment". He further added that Hiba has suffered "perforation in the cornea with pellet in the eye."
Along with little Hiba, many other people hit in eyes with pellets were admitted Sunday, including a class 8 student, Faizan Ahmed.
Apart from pellets in the eye, Faizan was also injured by a bullet in his head. However, a doctor said that the bullet has “just shaved past his head” and “didn’t cause a major injury”.
“He has been very lucky,” a surgeon, who was part of the team treating the injured in the trauma theatre, said.
Medical superintendent of SMHS hospital, Dr Saleem Tak said 11 persons had injuries in the eye(s) by pellets.
“One of the injured, with a bullet injury to the neck, was referred to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS). His condition was stated to be stable,” he said.
The Valley continues to remain disturbed amid panchayat polls and political crisis after Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the assembly recently claiming 2 different factions-Peoples Democratic Party and People’s Conference–staked claim to form a government in the state.