Stray rifle pellet hits man’s eye at Azad Maidan; Pune shooting instructor booked
A 27- year old man lost partial vision in his left eye after he was hit by a pellet from a rifle while walking across Azad Maidan on February 16. The pellet was fired by a group illegally practising rifle shooting on the ground.
The incident came to light after the hospital where the man is being treated for eye injuries held a press conference to announce the line of treatment.
Doctors said the X-ray report had revealed a 7 to 8 millimeter long metallic pellet was lodged in the retina. “The high velocity and the impact of the hit completely damaged his eye. His retina was severely damaged,” said Dr S Natarajan, managing director Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Wadala, who operated on him. The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye which converts light signals into neural signals and send them the brain for recognition.
The man, who did not want his identity to be revealed, works as a peon in an office near CST and on way to the station. “He didn’t realise what had happened until a passer-by pointed out that there was blood flowing out of his eye,” Dr Natrajan added.
In the first round of surgery, doctors removed the pellet, repaired the sclera-white portion of the eye, and reattached the retina to the wall using silicone oil. At present the man has a vision range less than of one meter compared to an undamaged eye where the vision range is over 60 metres. “Right now the man is only able to see close hand movements, when they are made very close to his face,” said Dr Lanin Chen, surgeon at the hospital.
“He will need another round of surgery for us to attach the retina. In many cases even after the retina is attached properly one cannot be sure if the patients will completely regain the vision,” Dr Chen added. The man’s colleagues are collecting funds for the surgery as it will cost anywhere between ₹50,000 to a lakh.