KOODAKPRESS
violence against children

A 19-month-old Child Being Hit by a Gun in Kashmir

According to koodakpress، The plight of a 19-month-old child who suffered severe eye injuries after being hit by a pellet gun fired by security forces has renewed anger in Indian-administered Kashmir. On Sunday, Heeba was playing in her home with her elder brother when locals from her village clashed with Indian forces going after six separatist […]

According to koodakpress، The plight of a 19-month-old child who suffered severe eye injuries after being hit by a pellet gun fired by security forces has renewed anger in Indian-administered Kashmir.

On Sunday, Heeba was playing in her home with her elder brother when locals from her village clashed with Indian forces going after six separatist rebels trapped in the nearby village of Kapran. The rebels were later killed.

As the number of protesters swelled, the area reverberated with anti-India slogans and security forces fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

The clashes moved to within a few hundred metres from the entrance of Heeba Jan’s house.

“I was preparing breakfast when I started coughing furiously. Greyish smoke from the tear gas shells had entered the house. Every passing minute made the air more unbreathable,” said her mother, who was alone in the house with her two children. “Heeba started vomiting and my five-year-old son was struggling to breathe.”

Doctors say Heeba will need many operations.

“We can only assess her damaged eye after a second surgery,” Saleem Tak, the head of the ophthalmology department of the hospital that treated Heeba, told.

There is a chance that she may lose most of the vision in that eye.

Images of the injuries caused to the 19-month-old girl have renewed public anger in the Muslim-majority region, which has seen violence since the late 1980s when separatists began waging a violent campaign against Indian rule.

Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan but both countries only control parts of it. India blames Pakistan for fuelling unrest in the region, a claim denied by Islamabad.

The widespread use of pellet guns against protesters in recent years has led to an estimated 3,000 people in the region sustaining eye injuries – locals call it a “dead eye epidemic”.

Despite the public anger, Indian security forces have stepped up their use of pellet guns.

 

 

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