1631 hit by pellets in face, 1100 have eye injuries
SRINAGAR—Over 1631 civilians have been hit in face with pellets by Indian armed forces during the 115 days of uprising, with 1,100 of them having injuries in eyes, a trauma that has cost them their vision, partially or fully, records consolidated from Srinagar hospitals said.
Hundreds of pellet-hit people are still waiting for vision corrective surgeries in hope of undoing the damage caused by pellets perforating their eyes.
SMHS Hospital and SKIMS Medical College Hospital Bemina, Srinagar, revealed that at least 1500 have been hit by pellets in and around eyes. Of these, 1100 people have had pellet injuries right in their eyes, damaging their visual areas and resulting in visual impairment of varying degree.
As per records at SMHS Hospital, 970 people with pellet injuries in eyes had been received. Of these, 44 people had injuries in both eyes. In addition, 524 people with pellet injuries around eyes have also been treated during the same period at this General Specialty Hospital. At SKIMS Medical College Hospital Srinagar, 131 people with injuries in eyes have been admitted during the same period. All of these, doctors said, had grave injuries causing loss of vision. The hospital has also admitted seven people whose both eyes had been hit by pellets. Besides, a few pellet injured people have also been taken outside the territory, doctors at the two hospitals said. “A handful of pellet injured preferred to travel outside the territory for treatment,” a doctor at SMHS Hospital said.
Even though at SMHS Hospital 513 people have had vitrectomies, a procedure for removing vitreous humor (clear fluid filling the eyeball), hundreds are in line for the surgery. Doctors said that almost all of the injured whose eyes have been perforated by pellets need vitrectomies in a bid to salvage their vision but due to the huge number of people injured by pellets, at least 300 more are in waiting for the surgery.
SMSH hospital is the only hospital in Kashmir where this operation is being conducted and other hospitals are not equipped with the machinery to carry out this complicated eye surgery. Some of the injured, as per doctors, have to undergo multiple vitrectomies and other advanced eye surgeries.
Data reveals that 51 people have had bilateral eye injuries due to pellets. Of these, 24 have lost one eye totally implying that it has either eviscerated at the time of injury or had to be taken out surgically. Six people have had total loss of vision, implying that their eyes do not even have perception of light.—KMS