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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Kashmir hospital authorities silent on pellet injury victims

According to doctors in Srinagar’s SMHS hospital, earlier too, people with pellet injuries were treated there. This time, however, instructions have been passed to every head of the hospital to not reveal any details to media at any level.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2019 12:58 IST
Mir Ehsan and Ashiq Hussain
Mir Ehsan and Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
A CRPF personnel stops vehicles near a temporary barricade set up by police during restriction in downtown area of Srinagar on Friday, August 16, 2019.
A CRPF personnel stops vehicles near a temporary barricade set up by police during restriction in downtown area of Srinagar on Friday, August 16, 2019. (ANI )
         

Inside ward 8 of Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) hospital, which is designated as the ophthalmology ward for patients with pellet injuries, nobody is willing to share any detail. Even the staff members refused to identify patients with pellet injuries. Policemen in civvies keep a close eye on the visitors and patients.

Unlike the past when staffers easily shared details of patients injured by pellets, there is complete silence in hospitals now.

A doctor in the ward, who was on night duty, said he does not know if any patient with pellet injury was admitted in the hospital. “The details can be taken from seniors. We are not authorised to speak,’’ he said.

However, it is learnt that five patients with pellet injuries were treated by doctors in the same ward, including a 75-year-old man from the old city.

Principal secretary and government spokesperson Rohit Kansal admitted that some people were injured in Kashmir, however, he did not give exact details of the injuries. On Saturday, Kansal said seven persons were injured in six ‘disturbances’, while on Sunday two persons suffered minor injuries.

Sameer Hussain, who lives in old city, said he was hit by pellets on Saturday while he was returning from his medical shop. “The pellet hit my left eye. I was returning from my shop when police fired pellets. I do not know why pellets were aimed at me,’’ he said, while being treated at the ward.

Close to his bed, 75-year-old Mohammad Sadiq was writhing in pain due to the pellet injury in his eye. “I was returning home after offering evening prayers when pellets were fired towards some people who were protesting. I was not part of the protest,’’ he said.

According to doctors, earlier too, people with pellet injuries were treated in the hospital. This time, however, instructions have been passed to every head of the hospital to not reveal any details to media at any level.

HT visited many hospitals including Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital and Bone and Joint hospital which are affiliated to Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, to know how many have been injured during these two weeks of restrictions.

“Everything has been centralised. Every hospital provides information to principal GMC. We cannot provide information to anybody else,” medical superintendent at SMHS, Nazir Chaudhary, said.

Principal GMC, Dr Parvez Shah did not allow the entry of HT correspondent in his office. His personal assistant said the information received from medical superintendents are sent directly to the divisional commissioner and they do not have any data compiled with them.

First Published: Aug 20, 2019 12:58 IST