Valley of tragedies
The pellet injury in the eye of 20-month-old baby from Batagund Shopian speaks volumes about the prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley and the excessive use of force while trying to control the protests. By no means can either government or the police and security forces justify such use of force while dealing with protests in Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir have been facing in ugly situation in the past few years especially post Burhan Wani killing. Thousands of people have been injured and hundreds of them with pellets in their eyes. The injured people have been left to fend for themselves and the authorities have failed to provide them timely treatment even to save their eyes. The announcements of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the start of pellet injuries to people that the government of India will fund their treatment and will provide them best of treatment in various hospitals.
Most of such patients came back as it was proved to them that the Central Government along with then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was only trying to fool them by taking them to Delhi and they reached back without any treatment to Srinagar hospitals. Even the State and the Central Governments failed to give to the ophthalmology ward of SMHS hospital the status of separate eye hospital so that the growing number of patients with injuries in their eyes could be treated in Srinagar.
The pellet injury in the eye of a baby in Shopian has reopened all the wounds of pellet victims and has brought to focus the callous attitude of the government to treat such patients. The government cannot justify the use of pellet on a family in Shopian in which the mother along with this baby was injured. The mother has told media in Srinagar that the forces opened pellet gun in her corridor and injured her baby.