A 19-year-old boy who was seriously injured when a contingent of security forces opened firing on a vehicle he was travelling in November in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, Tuesday thanked the army hospital for providing him the best medical attention.
"I was provided the best possible medical care here. There are good doctors and the support staff is also very caring. They gave me the best treatment and I think I would not have got such treatment somewhere else," Zahid Bhat said, after being discharged from the Army's base hospital at Badami bagh cantonment.
A resident of Nowgam locality of the summer capital Srinagar, Bhat and his family recounted how doctors and other staff at the medical facility provided much care to them and how their perception of the force was proven wrong.
"We always dreaded the army. We believed that they were not good, but my perception changed to some extent once I experienced the care here," Bhat said.
The young boy was injured in his right leg, in an army firing at Chattergam in Budgam district of Kashmir on November 3, after the vehicle in which he was travelling along with four others, allegedly failed to stop at the checking points.
The army was quick to apologise for the incident that left two youths dead and injured two others including Bhat and ordered a fast-track probe into the incident.
Bhat said though he was away from home, he never missed it as "it never felt like I was in an army hospital".
"My family used to visit me and my brother stayed for nights and there were two attendants from the hospital for my care," he said.
As the boy prepared to go home after about two months, Zahid said the feeling was good.
"I am feeling good that I am going home. But I would go to Faisal's (the deceased youth) home first. He was my cousin," he said.
Lt Col Vivek Aggarwal, who treated Zahid, said there was an 80 mm wound on his right leg but there was no damage to his bone.
"We removed splinters, cleaned and sutured the wound and after the treatment he is now stable," he said, adding that the youth has been advised some exercise.
"He may walk, run or jump as he is completely fine. He and his family cooperated very well during the treatment. He is a cheerful boy," Aggarwal said.
The other injured youth is still undergoing treatment at the army hospital.
Zahid's father, Mohamamd Ayoub Bhat said he had dim hopes of his son getting completely fit when saw him for the first time in the hospital, but the army took absolute care and made sure he received the best treatment.
"We did nothing. Army took care of everything. We thank God for saving his life and then the army for providing all help after that unfortunate incident," he said.
He said he would have been forced to sell his property had the treatment been done outside.
"He got the best medical attention. We could not have afforded such treatment outside," he said.
The father also mentioned that the army has promised jobs to both the injured youths and help them lead a meaningful life.