‘Dead-eyes epidemic’: Government has no idea how many people it has blinded

Human Rights activist MM Shujah was asked by the DC’s office to collect the data from the Department of Health

Srinagar: Government authorities in response to a query sought under Right to Information (RTI) Act have revealed that they have maintained no records of those people who were wounded or lost eye-sight during 2016 uprising in Kashmir Valley.

According to a report in a local daily, Greater Kashmir, valley in the year 2016-17 witnessed around 20,000 pellet injuries, out of which 1043 were eye injuries, 66 among them losing eyesight, 50 of which lost eyesight in one eye, and 16 in both eyes.

“The office of the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar has not bothered to reveal any information relating to wounded persons, killings, enquiry and compensation,” a statement said.

According to a news gathering agency, CNS, Human Rights activist MM Shujah had sought details about the number of people who were wounded or lost eye-sight during 2016 uprising in Kashmir Valley, and the amount given as compensation to the pellet or bullet wounded persons. The applicant had also sought details about the government recommendations about any job or compensation for those who have lost their eye-sight permanently.

“I had sought details from the office of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir. Ironically, they sent the application to the office of Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and the replies I got from the In-charge at Relief Section surprised me,” the applicant said.

“The office of the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar while not divulging any information about the number of wounded persons or those who have gone blind due to pellet injuries has asked me to collect the same detail from Department of Health,” he added.

The office of the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar has however, maintained that: “No compensation has been paid in respect of injured persons, however, ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakhs has been paid in favor of the next of the kin’s of the deceased.”


(With inputs from CNS)

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