Hospitalized tell of violence in IoK

The wards of the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar provide ample evidence that pro-independence demonstrations in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) have met with a tough response.

At least seven patients tell of how they were shot by police or paramilitary troops at demonstrations that have erupted across the Himalayan region over the past three months.

Aged between 15 and 35, they all have bullet wounds below the waist. They lie with their raised legs wrapped in dressings and pierced with metal rods to help bones heal properly.

Most will limp for the rest of their lives, some may never walk again.

Hospital staff who declined to be identified said that 200 people have been treated for bullet wounds since the middle of June, when a wave of anti-India protests began.

Authorities in IoK says, security forces open fire on protesters as a last resort, normally when mobs pelt them with rocks and try to overrun guard posts and bunkers.

The patients at the hospital, in the region’s main town, have a different version of the clashes, at which — according to the police — more than 100 civilians have been shot dead during the worst violence in the Muslim-majority region for years.

As violence has escalated, national politicians and Kashmiri pro-independence leaders appeared stuck for solutions.