Days after home minister Rajnath Singh appealed to security forces to not use pellet guns and CRPF director general K Durga Prasad expressed regret for its victims, the toll of patients injured by pellets continues to rise in Kashmir.
Data obtained from hospitals reveals that more than 50 patients have come to Srinagar’s hospitals with pellet injuries in the last four days. They are reported to be from both Srinagar city as well as other towns of the Valley.
Authorities at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital – where a majority of those injured in the ongoing clashes is being treated – said that on Tuesday at least 42 people were brought in with pellet injuries and at least five came the next day.
Another four patients were reported from Srinagar’s Bone and Joint Hospital since Monday, authorities said. Two more patients came to SKIIMS this week, hospital officials confirmed.
At SMHS hospital, officials say that 531 pellet injuries have been treated in the last 20 days of turmoil. As of the latest government data, 185 people have suffered eye injuries due to pellets while 20 have had both their eyes damaged.
On Tuesday, forces fired pellets in the old parts of Srinagar and a report said that a handicapped boy was among the victims.
The continuing rise in the injury toll comes even as a political war-of-words unfolds over the use of pellet guns, including statements from Singh, Prasad, the state high court and the state bar association.