BARAMULLA: It is bright sunny, Jana Begam, a 60 year old kashmiri woman is calmly sitting in a courtyard while keeping a close vigil on the entrance of her two storied pigsty house in north Kashmir’s Sheeri village.
On 06, August 2016, a fateful day for Malla family in this picturesque Sheeri village of North Kashmirs Baramulla District. Nearly a month was passed to the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular Hizb commander. The whole valley was erupted in protests and very same day around 400 protesters were injured in clashes after Friday prayers. Irshad Ahmad Malla, a 17 year old son of the family was one among them.
Irshad was doing his lunch and all of sudden he heard an announcement from a nearby local Mosque’ asking people to protest against the alleged high handedness of security forces, who allegedly thrashed locals and ransacked houses in zoogiyar and Sheeri localities.
Irshad left his lunch in midway and galloped out of the house. “Today something wrong is going to happen us”, Jana immediately whispered in the ear of his grandson as he left home.
Outside his house, Irshad saw a huge crowd of people encompassing his school peers and neighbouring buddies. It tempted him to join the protest march heading towards Kitchama, a nearby village
“As the march reached near petrol pump, Sheeri. The security forces deployed in the area came into action and lobbed several pellet shots towards us. I fell unconscious after feeling some hot but small iron balls pierced into my eye”, Irshad, a class 8th dropout said.
Few local boys of the area rushed him to PHC, Sheeri. After some first aid he was shifted to District hospital Baramulla and finally to SMHS hospital Srinagar, following a heavy bleeding from his eye and nose.
Back home, electric supply is cut from three months for not affording the electric bill of 50000. Literally the life has come to standstill for the members of this family.
It is the lady who manages all affairs from eatables to medicines, books to clothes. Gulam-ud-Din Malla, the head of the family was lastly heard some 25 years back after he was returning home from a work at bakery shop in Uri, a pale of dolefulness was visible on his face. After few sip of “NUN CHAI”, his tongue got locked and her hands stopped working.
“Next morning, Doctors declared a paralysis in his right side of body”, Sara ,the iron lady of family said while tears roll down her cheeks. After that Malla never returned back to his bakery shop even couldn’t moved out of his house.
Now the pellet injury of Irshad has compounded the miseries of Malla family. As the news of Irshad reached home, it was doomsday scene. Every member of family was mourning Irshad blindness. His father Ghulam Deen Malla was lost in his own dreams not knowing the bomb shell has dropped in family. He may console his members but how come. His tongue is locked in gullet .He did nothing but beats his forehead with crippled hand to join the mourning of family.
Amid chaos at home, an undaunted lady, Sara Begum, left for hospital. She almost fainted when saw her son bleeding from his eye and nose.
At SMHS hospital, Irshad was admitted for a week in unit ii of ophthalmology Department. Dr Ejaz Akber performed two back to back surgeries in his right eye.
“Look what has happened to me”, said Irshad while pointing towards a film of Xray and Doctors remarks on medical ticket with MRD no 335729.
His CT scan report on (patients copy) of discharge summary reads as “Pellet 3.8 mm deep to corneal surface medial to lateral recites. V.H partially compressing optic nerve”.
“Rt. Optic nerve shows pellet fragments alone”, it reads further.
Irshad was finally discharged with few prescribed medicines and advice to visit again for further treatment.
Ghulam-ud-Din Malla shouted in his broken and unclear voice “pellet pellet”, as he strives to enter the room, where his family was talking about the incident with the reporter.
One can easily understand the financial condition of the family who are taking tea without bread for weeks.
“I pay myself heavy fare of ambulances and costly medicines. Now we are not in a position to pay single penny for his treatments”, says Jana Begum.
“Everybody in Kashmir is well aware about so called enquiries and justice. We only demand a government job or special assistance to ease our sufferings”, she added.
Irshad who skipped medicines very earlier has now abandoned black eye glasses and is wandering restlessly, awaits ‘help’ on streets of Sheeri.