An Encounter raged in Kachdoora area of South Kashmir on last Sunday. Protesters gathered to disrupt the operation, Civilians were shot dead, many with pellets.
Many newspapers carried the story that the day brought back the memories of Dark eyes of 2016, but the truth was again like 2016, the victims were left for Stories of media, to the mercy of none.
One that day, my cousin was also hit with pellets in his eye.
Having spent an entire night with my cousin at SMHS who was hit by pellets in both the eyes, Good news was, his vision is safe with one pellet still wedged in his right eye.
Nothing surprised me more than certain events that occurred right from the moment I received a call that my cousin has been hit.
Event 1: Thousands of protesting youth on streets and in orchards pushing it hard to make way and break free the holed up rebels, yet some courageous youth are seen dragging the injured to nearby places where ambulances are waiting. Some found place in ambulances while others in private vehicles made available by public.
Event 2: Ambulances were stopped by Government forces at two places, Bundzu and Arhama. When i reached Arhama, i was stopped by army and they categorically refused to let us through. Having been well acquainted by network in south during the strife years helped us to reach SMHS hospital.
Event 3: People are seen waiting for the injured at the emergency entrance of the hospital and yet again police try to sabotage their efforts.
Event 4: While making way upstairs to emergency theatre, scores of youth were seen consoling those who have their dear ones inside the theatre. Young boys aged, 12-16 are seen sobbing which would make a stone heart tear his clothes. Volunteers are seen rushing corner to corner to make sure every injured gets medical attention.
Event 5: One of the volunteer helped me to enter the theatre area. I got the sight of my cousin and my knees started shaking. Two patches on his eyes, yet tears were rolling down the corner of his eyes, Stains of blood visible all over his clothes, nose plugged with blood clot. It was so horrific that I found it intricate as to move a mountain to speak a few words that could help him. All i could hear from him with shivering lips was, “Didi kar call.” (Call my mother)
Event 6: He is taken to Operation Theatre of ophthalmology department where some pellets are removed and some perforations are closed but some unlucky youth at verge of losing the sight completely.
Event 7: Volunteers thronged the ward 8 and start distributing water bottles and food items. Hundreds of youth from adjoining areas have made themselves available for kinds and cash to help everyone in need. Strangers are seen attending the victims of inhuman but routinely firing.
Event 8: Next day when the pain of every victim is subsided and the blindfold of bandage is removed, red, injured and wishful eyes are heart piercing. Victims, after many rounds of tests are seen visiting each other. Since all the victims are from Shopian and they by their camaraderie know each other well. Some humorous conversations start taking place like one victim raising his fingers and asking other, “yem kaetcz?” (tell me, How many fingers are raised) And the other would reply “zeh, na na treh” (2, No that’s three) and conversations keep building up.
The staff of ward 8 is no less than angels, no less than model doctors and no less than great human beings. I started showing signs of fatigue but the doctors who were there on Sunday are still energetic by the afternoon of Monday. Screaming and still examining patients, requesting attendants not to gather in groups inside the ward.
If the staff of ward 8 read this, i want to let them know, “you are doing an extraordinary job and are setting a great example.”