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Sunday Bloodshed:In ward with 10 pellet victims, Manzoor opens eyes to see his dark future

Srinagar, Nov 26: Lying motionless on a bed at the SMHS Hospital here, life has come to a standstill for 22-year-old Manzoor Ahmad.

The excruciating pain in his swollen eyes constantly reminds him of what has changed his life forever—the volley of pellets fired by the government forces at the civilian protesters at Largo, Kulgam, in south Kashmir.

The people were protesting for the militants holed up by the forces at the Shopian-Kulgam margin. In the resulting gunfight, six militants, one civilian, and a soldier were killed at the site.

The pellets hit Manzoor in his face, piercing and damaging both his eyes.

“I fell onto the ground after the pellets ruptured my face and eyes. I was trying to open my eyes, but couldn’t. Blood was oozing out of them, and then I fainted. I don’t know who brought me to the hospital,” recalled Manzoor, the breadwinner in his family comprising a handicapped mother and a blind sister.

He was first taken to the Kulgam District Hospital, from where the doctors shifted him to the SMHS Hospital here.

Already undergone one surgery, he is still unable to see.

“I was not able to open my eyes after the surgery. I tried to open my eyes to see who is around, but did not know that I would end up seeing my dark future,” Manzoor wails.

Manzoor, not the only pellet-hit patient in the ward, has swollen face and eyes, pellet holes visible all around, and his beard still blood-stained.

He has been earning for his family for 15 years, since his father had passed away.

“I was the only breadwinner and support to my mother and sister. I don’t know how they will survive, as I am no more in a condition to earn,” he said, tearing.

“I am not able to handle myself and I don’t know who will handle my family. I need two persons to accompany me to the washroom.”

Only his married elder sister and neighbours came to see him, leaving his mother and the younger sister home.

There were 10 pellet victims in the ward, and eight of them were partially blinded by the pellets.

Waseem, another pellet victim, a resident of Shopian, has been hit in his right eye.

“I was working in the orchard with my friend and was hit by pellets fired by the government forces. I have undergone a surgery yesterday, but cannot see with my right eye,” he said.