SHRC opens eyes to Valley’s pellet-blind 

Asks DCs of 10 districts to submit report about the victims of unrest
Sheikh Junaid
Srinagar, Dec 26: State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) today directed all Deputy Commissioners to submit reports about those blinded during the summer unrest in the valley.
“Taking suo-moto cognizance of a report published in a section of the press, Chairperson SHRC Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki directed the Deputy Commissioners of all the 10 districts of Kashmir to submit a detailed report of all the victims who have sustained eye injuries during the recent disturbances in the valley,” an official spokesman said here.
He said Justice Nazki has directed the Deputy Commissioners to include details of victims, date and place of injury, extent of injury, treatment given and compensation paid to them.
The Chairperson has asked for the report to be submitted to the Commission by or before 3 February 2017.
The SHRC has further said that the citizens and victims may also approach the Commission with useful information on their own, the spokesman added.
Hundreds of people suffered eye injuries, including blinding in some cases, due to use of pellet guns during the five-month unrest in Kashmir following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in July this year.
Hospital data has shown that the eyes of more than 1,000 people were pierced by pellets in the ongoing unrest, leading to either complete or partial blindness.
Despite calls by opposition parties and rights groups to ban the use of pellet guns, the government has refused to do so.
In a recent address to newly-recruited policemen, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had appealed to the personnel to restrain using pellet guns till an alternative is not introduced.
“If there is an attack on your camp or police station, then I understand, but if someone throws stones at you, you should try to restrain yourselves till we find an alternative to pellet guns and ban them completely,” she had said.
A team of surgeons at Ophthalmology Department, joined by world renowned vitreo-retina surgeon Dr S Natrajan, recently performed a number of vitrectomies. But with each passing day and after repeated surgical procedures “not yielding amazing visual outcomes”, these pellet-hit youth are slipping into despair and hopelessness.

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