BY Faizan Bukhari
SRINAGAR,For the State, he might be another ‘collateral damage’, but for his father, Suhail Ahmad — who lost his vision after police fired pellets on him — is a permanent source of gloom.
Ahmad, son of a vegetable seller, was badly injured in the eye after police fired pellets to quell a demonstration staged by youths in Qamarwari locality of Kashmir capital Srinagar to demand revocation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) on December 16 last year, Greater Kashmir reported.
“I was heading towards a vegetable vendor to collect money as asked by my father when pellets rained,” recalled 16-year-old Ahmad, who recenty appeared in his class 10th examination.
“I wanted to become a doctor but police shattered my dream,” he told the newspaper. “When policemen fired pellets at me, I suddenly fell unconscious and collapsed. I regained my consciousness at JVC hospital at Bemina, but I was unable to see anything.”
Ahmad is not the first victim of pellet guns and perhaps not the last in strife-torn Kashmir where government forces have been using this deadly weapon to quell anti-India demonstrations.
Ahmad’s father, Farooq Ahmad Bhat has travelled to Amritsar, Chandigarh and Indore to seek treatment for his son, but to no avail.
“We even went to Indore, but the doctors categorically told us that Suhail won’t regain his vision. The doctors in Amritsar said Suhail’s eyes have been badly damaged due to pellets and the chances that he might regain his vision are very bleak,” said the senior Ahmad.
His uncle Farooq Ahmad Deva said his heart bleeds on seeing his nephew in such a bad shape.
“He is so young and innocent and would never think of indulging in stone-pelting or a protest. He is an intelligent student, but pellets have ruined his life and crushed his dream of becoming a doctor,” said Deva.
The senior Ahamd made an appeal: “Now that my son can’t see, the government should stop use of pellets on protestors in Kashmir. I don’t want to see others losing their vision due to these lethal weapons. It is very painful to live without your eyesight.”
His mother said: “I don’t look at my son’s face. I can’t bear it. He was my hero, look what they did to him.”