Government is using everything possible to keep it all closed down; curfew, restrictions, more troops, media ban, phone lines down, and Internet dysfunctional. On the other hand people in different parts of the state are protesting against the atrocities by the troops. Consequently we have difficulties piling up very fast. The political part of the problem apart, there is a humanitarian angle to this crisis. By now the medicines, particularly life saving, must have fallen short in supply, the provisions of life too are running short, and the urgencies of life have come under severe strain. There are families whose resources are thinning out. Add to it a vast number of families whose members are admitted to hospitals, injured in this uprising. In this condition, there is a need to invoke humanitarian side of the crisis. Those in the valley, as a society, have displayed a commendable character by arranging food, medicines, and blood for the injured. Similarly there are locality specific welfare groups who have worked hard to ensure that none goes to sleep without food. It is one rare moment of coming together and helping each other. But as the crisis turn bigger this won’t suffice. People outside the state must chip in. It is a global practice that in such circumstances humanitarian help is allowed to trickle in. The international groups that are known to help people in such circumstances must be allowed to come to this place and offer professional help to the people in need. Lethality of pellet guns has been proved far and away after their use in containing angry protestors in Kashmir recently. With pellet injuries causing serious damage to eyes and therefore vision, people in Kashmir are brisling with rage on their use on civilians in protest demonstrations. Number of patients, young protestors, who have been admitted in different hospitals and are receiving treatment, has set the alarm bells ringing in the state. Even doctors who have specialized in eye care and are attending the patients have expressed their disapproval in clear terms on the use of pellet guns that are proving no less lethal than assault rifles. A few days ago, HoD Ophthalmology of GMC Srinagar, Dr Tariq Qureshi, said that the hospital had received 128 patients with pellet wounds and that 50 of them may not recover, which is that they will lose their ability to see. The doctor said more than 100 surgeries have been conducted in just four days. With the figure (of injured by pellets) hinting at a disastrous outcome, there is a high-intensity debate on the use of pellet guns and their induction in paramilitary force. As of now the shells loaded with hundreds of pellets upon being fired spread these pellets in a six feet diametrical area hitting any and all surfaces that come in their way. A few pellets striking most sensitive parts of eye/retina are enough to cause serious damage and permanent blindness. Analysts and observers have picked apart the claims that pellet guns are non-lethal and effective means to contain protests. Many human rights groups have taken up the issue and berated Indian authorities on the rampant use of pellet guns. One such organization, Human Rights Watch, observed that “The authorities (Indian authorities) should not only investigate the use of firearms that resulted in death and injury, but also the use of pellet guns, which can cause serious injury when fired at close range or at an individual’s eye.”
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