Srinagar, May 05 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the maxillofacial injuries caused to the people due to the firing of bullets, pellets and teargas shells during this decade have tripled up. The injuries to the mouth, teeth, jaw and face have been more than the previous two decades.

Government Dental College Srinagar (GDCS) has received more maxillofacial injury cases caused by bullets, pellets and teargas canisters since the 2008 mass uprising than the total cases it received during the 1980s to 2008. Occupied Kashmir had witnessed massive protests for months in 2008 after the puppet authorities had illegally transferred the Kashmiris’ land to New Delhi-based Amarnath Shrine Board that manages annual Amarnath Yatra in the territory.

Head of the Department of the Maxillofacial Wing at GDC Srinagar, Dr Aijaz Ahmed Shah says that the numbers were low till 2008 as civilian protests were somewhat less but since then the numbers have tripled up.

He says during the 2009 agitation against Aasiya and Neelofar rape-and-murder, the numbers swelled as doctors of the maxillofacial wing started adapting to a new working style where the cases of injuries would crop up every hour.

Dr Aijaz Ahmed Shah says that the number of people with maxillofacial injuries in 2010 uprising was also higher than the numbers in 2016 uprising. “We received 70 cases in 2016 but in 2010 the number was much higher at 110,” he says. He puts the number of maxillofacial injuries in past 8 years at 5,000 among which the major chunk was due to stones, bullets, and teargas canisters.

Dr Aijaz terms the working environment during 2016 uprising as chaotic adding that the patients with stone, pellet and bullet injuries were more in 2016 than in 2010 when most injuries were caused by teargas canisters. He says that the maxillofacial injuries during the uprisings and protests have been underreported in the Valley as main focus has now shifted to pellet injuries.

He terms the bullet wounds to the face as worse than pellet injuries. “Pellets injuries to the jaw and face aren’t that bad in comparison to the bullet and teargas canister injuries,” he says.


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