PoK sets up special fund for Valley’s pellet gun ‘victims’

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Srinagar: The government in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) has set up a special fund for the Kashmiri youth who were blinded or maimed in the use of shotgun pellets by the security forces while containing the civil unrest and street violence in the Valley set off by the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in July last year.

Officially, 76 people were killed and thousands others injured in the security forces’ actions during the unrest.

Among injured were a few hundred people, mainly youth, who suffered eye injuries including blinding and permanent visual impairment in the use of pellet guns.

The government in Muzaffarabad has also announced that the victims would be extended financial assistance and also medical care at international hospitals.

“They would be provided medical care at international hospitals and we would bear all the expenses on their travel and hospitalization,” said Raja Farooq Haider Khan, the Prime Minister of PoK.

He added that the Cabinet headed by him last week gave formal approval to the government’s move to set up the special fund “allocating sufficient sum as seed money” and that this fund “would be used for provision of quality medical treatment to those who sustained injuries in the use of pellet guns” in the Valley.

He alleged that the Indian government as well as the Jammu and Kashmir authorities have left the victims in the lurch and that they have been denied “proper medical facilities.”

He said, “It is, therefore, our responsibility to extend all possible help to them. They are our own people.”

Earlier the PoK President Sardar Masood Khan asked the students to extend their “political and moral support” to the Valley youth and play their role in highlighting the Kashmir issue, especially through social media. While speaking at the annual convocation at a local university, he urged students to use their expertise on new digital platforms to talk about Kashmir.

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