India’s brutality and the unforgiving use of pellet guns was revealed after innocent Hiba became a symbol of the ferocity of occupying forces in the region.
Pellet guns are sort of shotguns that are frequently used by Police as a non-lethal weapon to control protests in India administered Kashmir, since the year 2010. Pellet guns are normally used for hunting animals.
”At least 17 people have lost their lives to pellet guns during 2016 and 2017, while an estimated 3,000 have sustained serious eye injuries. Approximately 3800 cases of pellet gun injuries have been registered with the State Human Rights Commission. However, Mohammad Ashraf Wani, Head of PVWT (Pellet Victims Welfare Trust) says that the number soars much higher. He said that there are hundreds, who because of fear of security forces, don’t register themselves at all.”
Hiba was only 19 years old when she fell victim to it. She lost sight of her one eye in a pellet gun attack on November 25 last year and has been battling ever since. Her mother back then said she has to undergo a lot of surgeries to retrieve her eyesight. Unfortunately, nothing has changed for the innocent girl so far. Kashmir Media Service reports that the minor is still struggling and has a few surgeries lined up in the coming month, after which they might be hopeful for her situation.
Abdul Ahad Butt, Hiba’s grandfather said that they are taking her to the hospital twice a week but no improvement has been noticed yet. He added that he wanted to take her to other doctors, but doctors at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital didn’t allow him to, saying that she was under the best treatment in the valley instead.
“There was a huge cordon, but we were not aware that some forces’ men had laid an ambush outside our house. They were hiding behind a small tin fence as my daughter-in-law went outside carrying her daughter. When they fired a pellet cartridge at her, Hiba’s mother put her hand over the child’s face. Her hand and back also sustained injuries, but despite that, a pellet hit Hiba’s right eye deep, causing major damage. Till date, she is not able to see from that eye.” – Ahad said, narrating the incidents of the operation day.