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09-26-2010, 09:57 AM
Jammu & Kashmir: 109 killed, 2000 injured by Indian security forces


By Faheem Aslam
Srinagar, J & K, India, (Greater Kashmir): In addition to 109 civilian killings in the past four months, [Indian] police and paramilitary CRPF have injured at least 2000 people during the period, most of whom have received bullets, pellets and teargas shells while some of them stand temporarily or permanently disabled.

According to official figures, the Valley health care centers—including hospitals, sub-district hospitals, trauma centers—have received over 1500 cases of firearm injures, mainly due to bullets, pellets and teargas shells, since June this year. Besides, some 500 people have been injured in incidents of lathi-charge and ‘crowd control’ across the Valley.

The tertiary care hospital, SK Institute of Medical Sciences here, has alone recorded about 700 injuries since June. “These include patients with firearm injuries due to bullets, pellets and teargas shells and also due to alleged beating,” said the SKIMS Medical Superintendent, Dr Syed Amin Tabish.

He said: “So far some financial help has been provided by the government with regard to treating these patients. But that stands exhausted now. We have been able to provide 100 percent free treatment to these patients.

Now we have again asked the government for some financial help. We have processed a case in this regard.”

A SKIMS source said at least six to seven persons, including women, were suffering from paraplegia—paralysis of the lower half of the body while two of them are quadriplegic-- paralysed in both arms and both legs.

The SMHS hospital has recorded about 400 firearm injuries since May. “We received three cases of firearm injures in May, 15 in June, 27 in July, 193 in August and over 130 in September,” said the SMHS medical superintendent, Dr Waseem Qureshi. “We have provided free treatment to all these patients.”

Sources in the SMHS hospital said they recorded 38 cases where patients had received bullets or pellets in eyes. “Many of them have been discharged. We can’t say with certainly whether they would be able to see again or not. We can know the status of their eyesight only after 6 months,” said a medico there, insisting not to be named.

Those admitted to the hospital have received bullets in abdomen, chest and neck. “These are all the vital organs. So in that case, the nature of the injury happens to be very critical,” the medico said. “It takes months together for such patients to recover.”

An official in the Bone and Joints Hospital said they received about 150 firearm injuries since June. “Some are them are under treatment while most of them have been discharged,” the official, wishing anonymity, said.

Sources, however, maintained that the hospital has received more firearm injuries and the authorities were downplaying figures for unknown reasons. “It will take the patients at least one to two years to recover.

There is a possibility that some of them can turn disabled if they don’t recover,” said a B&J medico, insisting not to be named.

He said on second day of Eid, the medicos conducted at least a dozen surgeries on patients injured due to bullets and pellets.

The SKIMS Medical College Hospital at Bemina has received 165 injured persons since June. “These includes maximum of firearm injuries,” said its medical superintendent, Dr Nazir Ahmad, while giving the figures.

Greater Kashmir called some of the district hospitals on Thursday. The officials confirmed having received about 50 to 100 persons injured due to firearm injuries since June 11. Besides the health care centres have received at least 500 patients who complained that they were beaten by police and CRPF.

The figure of injured persons is much higher as many of them got treated without registering themselves in the health centres, said a medico. “And there are scores of people who get themselves treated at chemist shops or home because their injuries happen to be minor.”