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Press Release ..27.7.2016

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Jammu and Kashmir

high court bar association

Srinagar Kashmir

HCBA/CON/09-97 27.07.2016

press release

An emergency meeting of the Executive Committee of the J&K High Court Bar Association was held today to discuss certain issues concerning the people who have suffered pellet injuries and are going to lose their eye sight for ever, if not treated in time in the ophthalmology department fo the SMHS Hospital, Srinagar. The names of the members who participated in the meeting are as under :
1.Mr. M. A. Qayoom, Advocate, President;
2.Mr. Aijaz Bedar, Advocate, Vice President;
3.Mr. Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen, Advocate, Joint Secretary;
4.Mr. Mohammad Amin Bhat, Advocate, Executive member;
5.Mr. Manzoor Ahmad Dar, Advocate, Executive member;
6.Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, Advocate, Executive member;
7.Mr. Mohammad Abdullah Pandit, Advocate, Executive member;
8.Mr. Bashir Ahmad Khan, Advocate, Executive member;
9.Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Advocate, Executive member;
10.Mr. Shabir Ahmad Butt, Advocate, Executive member;
11.Mr. Arshid Andrabi, Advocate, Executive member;
12.Mr. Nasir Shalla, Advocate, Executive member;
13.Mr. Mudasir Gulzar, Advocate, Executive member;
14.Mr. Nasir Qadri, Advocate, Executive member;
15.Mr. Ishtiyaq Ahmad Mir, Advocate, Executive member.

At the very outset, the members were informed that the police and the so called security forces have raided and ransacked the house of Bilal Ahmad Wani, Advocate and have also beaten Mohammad Afzal Rather Advocate of Pattan and have also broken his right arm. The members condemned the said brute action of the Police and decided to request the Hon’ble Chief Justice to ensure safety and security of lawyers, who have always been hounded by the barbaric forces, as they support the freedom struggle of the people of Kashmir.

The Executive members also decided to request the members to follow the programme of the pro-freedom leadership in letter and spirit and to come to the courts only when there is a break. It was also decided that M/s Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Advocate and Nasir Shalla, Advocate shall remain available to the people in the lower court for providing legal aid and assistance to them, free of cost.

It was also decided that Amnesty International, Asia Watch and other Human Rights Organizations of the World, who were visiting the state in the past occasionally, but have now stopped coming to Kashmir, shall be requested to send their teams to Kashmir, so as to see for themselves, as to how the human rights violations at mass scale are taking place in Kashmir and how people are being killed with bullets and blinded with pellets and the people of the world are watching the same as mute spectators. It was also decided to request the people of Kashmir, as advised by Secretary General of the Security Council, to send their complaints regarding Human Rights violations which are taking place in the State, directly to UN Human Rights Council through Mr. Stephen Dujarric, Spokesman of Secretary General, UNHQ, Room S-233, New York NY – 10017, e-mail dujarric@un.org, Tele +1212 9636172, SK Stepdujarric, so that UNO and its members will come to know, about the happenings in Kashmir and will see as to how India is engaged in a systematic genocide of the people in Kashmir and for suppressing their voice people are being killed by bullets and blinded by pellets.

The members appreciated the highlighting of Kashmir issue and the violations of Human Rights which are taking place in Kashmir by several groups in USA, France, UK, Australia and other places including in India.

In order to ensure supply of medicines and other daily essentials to the people, the Bar members decided to request the medical shop owners and other shopkeepers to provide the medicine and other essentials to the people on cost to cost basis, without making any profit from them, so that they are able to sustain themselves.

In the meanwhile a nine member team of the Bar Association comprised of M. A. Qayoom; Aijaz Bedar; Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen; Mohammad Ashraf Bhat; Arshid Andrabi; Shabir Ahmad Bhat; Nasir Shalla; Nasir Qadri and Mian Muzaffar, visited SMHS Hospital Srinagar and interacted with 45 persons, who had received pellet gun injuries and were admitted in ward no. 7&8 of the hospital on 26.07.2016.

All the aforesaid injured persons told the Bar team that the hospital authorities are not providing them proper treatment and they have either lost or about to lose their eye sight completely. They said that the hospital authorities are falsely stating that they have enough faculty staff to treat the patients and that they are providing them medicines free of cost. They said that the eye surgeons, who have been brought from Bombay are unable to conduct surgeries on them, because there is only one ‘retina surgery bed’ available in the operation theatre, on which only one patient can be operated in a day. They said that most of the patients, who have been discharged, have only been given first aid and the pellet are still inside their eyes and if those pellets are not removed urgently, they are all bound to lose their eye sight. Out of 45 injured persons, who interacted with the Bar team, 22 have received pellet injury in their left eye, 21 have received injury in their right eye and 03 have received injury in their both eyes.

The names of those who have received injury in their left eye are :
1.Nasir Altaf son of Mohammad Altaf resident of Kokernag aged 5 years;
2.Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat resident of Mundyari Pattan aged 21 years;
3.Jahangir Ahmad Rather resident of Lalpora Lolab, Kupwara aged 16 years;
4.Javaid Ahmad Teli resident of Lalpora Kupwara aged 25 years;
5.Showkat Ahmad Reshi resident of Bamruda, Magam aged 22 years;
6.Mudasir Shamim Ganai resident of Chandergam Tral aged 19 years;
7.Mohammad Asif Lone resident of Tujjar Sharief Sopore aged 17 years;
8.Zubair Rasool Bhat resident of Shivpora Islamabad aged 18 years;
9.Tariq Ahmad Mir resident of Sopore aged 23 years;
10.Manzoor Ahmad Dar resident of Kohsar, Shopian aged 21 years;
11.Mohammad Imran Khan resident of Bandipora aged 17 years;
12.Ishfaq Ahmad Chohan resident of Kupwara aged 20 years;
13.Omer Bilal Bhat resident of Noor Bagh, Srinagar aged 15 years;
14.Sameer Ahmad Hajam resident of Noor Bagh Srinagar aged 15 years;
15.Mohammad Younis Shah resident of Posh Qadi Islamabad aged 30 years;
16.Aadil Ahsan resident of Sheermal Shopian aged 20 years;
17.Irshad Ahmad Mir resident of Rathsu Budgam aged 18 years;
18.Abrar Ahmad Mir resident of Chandgam, Pulwama aged 24 years;
19.Saqib Ahmad Tanzoo resident of Hanjipora Kupwara aged 16 years;
20.Mubashir Ahmad resident of Bibehran Kupwara aged 23 years;
21.Shah Faisal resident of Huhama aged 18 years;
22.Asif Sheikh resident of Pulwama aged 20 years;

Those who have received pellet injury in their right eye are as under :-
1.Aaqib Sheikh resident of Achabal Islamabad aged 18 years;
2.Aamir Ashraf resident of Humhama, Srinagar aged 16 years;
3.Tanveer Ahmad Ganai resident of Khushhal Pora Baramulla aged 20 years;
4.Ghulam Mohammad Shah resident of Nizampora Kangan aged 25 years;
5.Junaid Farooq Sheikh resident of Gulshanpora, Tral aged 16 years;
6.Aaqib Aijaz Rather resident of Sopore aged 17 years;
7.Nadeem Ahmad Gujree resident of Sopore aged 19 years;
8.Ghulam Mohammad Najar resident of Jamalatta Srinagar aged 55 years;
9.Waseem Ahmad Wagay resident of Kakapora Pulwama aged 17 years;
10.Fayaz Ahmad Malik resident of Sherpora Islamabad aged 30 years;
11.Imran Rashid resident of Sherpora Islamabad aged 22 years;
12.Bilal Ahmad Shah resident of Sherpora Islamabad aged 35 years;
13.Mohammad Aalim Dar resident of Narbal aged 19 years;
14.Zahid Ahmad Khan resident of Gonanpora Shopian aged 18 years;
15.Omar Showkat resident of Kakarhama, Baramulla aged 13 years;
16.Zahid Ahmad Ganai resident of Pairoo Islamabad aged 22 years;
17.Mohammad Shafi Sheikh resident of Dardpora aged 25 years;
18.Majid Ahmad Sheikh resident of Trehgam Kupwara aged 17 years;
19.Muzaffar Ahmad Sheikh resident of Khonmoh aged 18 years;
20.Omar Nasir resident of Botpora Sopore aged 15 years;
21.Khursheed Ahmad Lone resident of Kudwani Kulgam aged 25 years.

Those who have received pellet injury in both their eyes are :
1.Aijaz Ahmad Mir resident of Bahrampora, Sopore aged 17 years;
2.Mohammad Aalim Dar resident of Narbal aged 19 years;
3.Adnan Shabir Bhat resident of Safa Kadal Srinagar aged 21 years.

The Bar team was told that since there is shortage of accommodation in the hospital, therefore, every day dozens of pellet injury victims are admitted in the hospital or are discharged. Those who are given first aid are told to come after a fortnight and those who are operated are asked to stay in the Hospital for few days more or go home and come again. The Bar team was told that one Doctor Sajjad Fazli an Eye Specialist, had volunteered to help the doctors of SMHS Hospital in operating the pellet victims, but he has not been allowed to do so. All the victims except a few with whom the Bar team interacted are students reading in different schools and colleges and even one of them is a Post Graduate student of History. They told the Bar team that they have been targeted deliberately, so that they are blinded for-ever. The Bar team, while interacting with these victims enquired from them as to whether they want to go out of state for treatment on their own expenses, but all of them stated that they are poor and cannot afford to do so. They were also told as to whether they would go out on the state expenses for receiving the specialized treatment, they said that if they are taken out, who will look after them and going by the hostile atmosphere prevalent outside the State, they feel that they won’t receive any kind of treatment and even they apprehend danger to their life. They however stated that if competent and well trained doctors are brought from outside for their treatment, there is a possibility of saving anyone from them from losing his eyesight. They also stated that every hospital is required to have an eye bank with all required facilities, but no such eye bank is available in SMHS Hospital. They also stated that if some victim has a corneal injury, it can be treated by organ transplantation, but when no eye bank with requisite facility is available in the hospital, how the organ transplantation can take place in the hospital.

The Bar team also found that those of the victims who are discharged by the hospital authorities and want to go home are not provided any transport by the hospital authorities and despite having been discharged by the hospital authorities they have to spend their time either in the hospital or outside without anyone from the Ophthalmology department of the hospital being concerned about them. They also stated that the police personnel in civvies also remain present in the wards so that these pellet victims do not tell their story to anyone coming from outside.

The Bar team however, found that a number of organizations have set up their camps both inside and outside the hospital and they are providing medicine and food to the patients and their attendants round the clock which is highly appreciable. They are also arranging transport and other facilities for them free of cost, which too is appreciable.

The Bar team after interacting with the aforesaid 45 injured persons who were in ward no. 7 and 8 of Ophthalmology department of SMHS Hospital Srinagar and has decided to bring the aforesaid facts of the Hon’ble High Court at Srinagar who has already seized of the matter in a PIL filed by J&K People’s Forum. It has also been decided to file a separate petition for banning the use of ‘Pallet Guns’ by seeking the reversal and recalling of the order of the order dated 30.10.2013 passed by the Hon’ble High Court in PIL No. 01/2013, PIL No. 04/2013 and PIL No. 12/2013 filed by three members of the Bar Association for banning the Pepper Gas and Pallet Guns, whereby all the three petitions were dismissed.

While the Bar team had finished their interaction with the aforesaid 45 injured persons, about 11 persons with pellet injuries were brought to the Hospital who had received the said pellet injuries in Sakidafar/Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar city and all those victims were withering with pain.

Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen,

joint Secretary,

J&K High Court,

Dated : 27.07.2016 Bar Association, Srinagar.