A new medical report by Indian eye specialists exposed Indian brutal actions on innocent Kashmiris. According to the report findings, 80% of Kashmiris who received eye injuries due to pellet guns have suffered some degree of vision loss. The vision limited to “counting fingers”, according to a review research paper on 777 eye operations carried out.
The study, published by Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, to “examine the incidence, clinical findings and management of pellet gun—related ocular injuries” during this time has found that the final “best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) after treatment was counting fingers or worse in 82.4% of the eyes. The review strongly advised against the use of pellet guns on Civilians. It said, the injuries imposed a “significant physical, emotional and socio-economic burden” on society and the patients (mostly males in the 20-29 age group) because of the poor vision, high cost of medical care and long-term rehabilitation.
One of the main authors of the paper, published in ‘The Indian Journal of Ophthalmology’, is Mumbai-based retina surgeon Dr S Natrajan. He had travelled to Srinagar five times in 2016 to operate on those injured by pellets, along with a doctor each from New Delhi and Chennai. Their visits came in the aftermath of the standoff between protectors, who were throwing stones and the security forces who retaliated by shooting pellets. The medical response was also “unique” in which the three surgeons managed more than 777 patients, conducted over 550 primary eye repairs and performed over 370 vitreoretinal surgeries. In recent years, more than 6,000 people, mostly teenagers, have lost their eyesight fully or partially after being struck by the pellets which are fired from iron shotguns used by Indian occupied forces.
Amnesty International says the weapons that cause these injuries are “dangerous” and violate international standards on the use of force. According to Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), a human rights organization based in Kashmir have collected nearly 300 testimonies of pellet gun victims. In 2016, over 80 civilians were killed by Indian forces and more than 15,000. persons were injured. Among the injuries, 4,500 were due to pellet-firing shotguns. More than 352 civilians were partially or completely blinded by pellet-firing shotguns.