Srinagar, May 28 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Parvez Ahmad Dar, 37, lost his eyesight after being a victim of a grenade blast in May 1991 when he was walking toward his home in Maisuma area of Srinagar.

Parvez Ahmad Dar, who was 10 then, says it was better if he would have died in the blast because the official apathy toward the handicapped people in the territory has left him hopeless.

So far, Pervez Dar has not received any compensation from the puppet authorities or any other social welfare organisation. He says whenever the handicapped people have hit streets demanding their rights, the so-called rulers have responded with force.

In 2002, Pervez Dar suffered a massive heart attack, which he says was a result of continuous stress he had been enduring due to the growing financial constraints in the family. “My father has passed away and I have an unmarried sister,” Dar says. “I myself can’t earn and I have to spend hundreds of rupees every Monday in the hospital.” According to Dar, the official apathy has led him to believe that there is no space for a person with disability.

For Ishtiyaq Ahmad Shah, a resident of Buber Nag village of Kupwara, the ordeal started when he was shot at point-blank range in the August of 1996 by the Special Task Force (STF) men who barged into his maternal uncle’s house in Chowgal, Handwara at 11.30 pm. “The bullet hit my right thigh which left me 75 percent disabled,” Shah says. He said that the STF along with the local Army unit tortured him brutally before shooting him down.

“I was pursuing Bachelors in Science at that time. My right side is completely paralysed. My left leg is 50 percent disabled,” Shah says. Shah has also been rendered almost impotent due to the spinal injury and torture on that ill-fated night.

Shah, who now runs a small grocery shop, castigates the successive governments for paying him just Rs 25,000 as compensation. He says his case for due compensation of Rs 2.25 lakh has been lingering in the High Court for the past two decades.

“The Army again picked me up in 2004 and kept me in detention but now they can’t threaten me anymore,” he says.“Life for me is now just about surviving.” Shah says he was not involved in any subversive or militant activity.

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