Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Sunday visited Insha Malik, the 14-year-old girl from the Valley’s Shopian area who has been blinded by the pellet gun use at the Eye Care Centre at Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi where she is currently undergoing treatment to inquire about her welfare.
Ophthalmologists have said that the pellets ruptured her right eye and it came out and that her left eye is lacerated with zero chance of recovery. According to her parents, Malik was in the first floor of her house in Sedow village of Shopian when security forces fired pellets inside the premises on July 12 evening.
The 9th class student has since become the face of the debate over the use of pellet guns in Kashmir which has killed, maimed or blinded more than four hundred people during the seven-week-long unrest in the Valley.
In the face of severe criticism both at home and abroad, the government set up an expert committee more than a month ago to review the use of pellet gun in crowd control and suggest alternatives.
Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, who was in Srinagar earlier this month had said that the committee will submit its report to the government in about four days and that the pellet gun will soon be replaced.
Reports in a section of media has said that PAVA (Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide) shells are being considered as a replacement for pellets in the Valley. But these are already being used here as an affidavit filed by the CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir High Court earlier this month had said that it has fired 800 shells of hot PAVA projectiles (pepper balls) between July 8 and August 11 to contain protests.
An official release issued here said that the Chief Minister while interacting with the doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital requested them to make all possible efforts to restore the eyesight of the girl. “Even if she requires an eye transplant to make her see the world around again, the State Government would provide full support for the same,” she told them.
The Chief Minister assured the parents of Malik that the government would ensure best possible treatment, within or even outside the country, for their daughter. The Chief Minister also visited AIIMS to enquire about the welfare of a J&K policeman, who was grievously injured during ongoing unrest and is undergoing treatment at the hospital.