Wary of costly treatment, Pellet-hit boy’s family ‘Disowns’ him

With his right eye hit by pellets, Bilal Ahmad of Shopian walks towards the CT scan room of SMHS hospital. He asks his friend to call his parents who hurriedly dials the phone number. As the friend informs Bilal’s parents about his injury, they refuse to come, saying, “Let him die”.
Bilal is disowned by his family as they don’t have money to spend on his treatment. “They are extremely poor people and his family cannot afford to take care of him, that’s the reason why they are disowning him,” says Raees (name changed) Bilal’s friend who is taking care of him in the hospital.
Bilal was injured after forces launched a massive search operation in twelve villages of Shopian village following inputs about the presence of militants. During the operation the residents say forces vandalized the property and the boys retaliated by pelting stones.
“The search operation was going on in my village also, the boys pelted stones on the forces and they fired pellets and one of the pellets hit my right eye,” says Bilal.
As Bilal is taken to the ophthalmology ward, where nurses and doctors are gearing up to receive more injured patients, one of the doctors asks Bilal to call his parents as their consent for the treatment is important, but the 15-year-old boy with tearful eyes tells the doctor, ‘my friend will sign’ and his eyes become moist again.
“The medical examination, as of now, will be done free of cost, but you have to buy medicines and other things for that you have to spend money,” says the doctor who is treating him. But his friend tells the doctor not to worry about money as he will take the responsibility of his treatment.
“I cannot let him die. I know his family won’t help him, but I cannot leave him alone,” said Raees.
While Bilal is feeling dejected and isolated, his friend from the same village Shahid is swarmed by his anxious family members.
Shahid, a carpenter by profession, was hit with pellets in his left eye. His family insists that he was not pelting stones.
They say Shahid and his brother Suhail had left home early morning for work. “But when people assembled and started raising slogans, Shahid, out of curiosity, went to see what’s happening only to be hit by pellets.”
“His hand was on his left eye and he was running and when I saw blood oozing from his eye I immediately rushed him to district hospital, and from their he was referred to SMHS hospital,” says one of Shahid’s relatives.

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