Doctors on Wednesday successfully removed the pellet lodged in the right eye of an 18-month-old girl, Hiba Nisar, the youngest pellet victim in Kashmir who was injured after getting hit inside her house last month.
"We have removed the pellet which was lodged in the right eye of the infant girl. We cannot say for sure that her ability to see with the affected eye will be restored, but we are making our best efforts," a doctor, who was part of the team that performed the operation, said.
The procedure to remove the pellet from Hiba's eye took a marathon two-and-half hours, the doctor said.
Hiba got the unwanted tag of being the youngest pellet victim in Kashmir on November 25 when she was hit by pellets inside her house during clashes between protesters and security forces in Shopian district. The picture of Hiba with a bandage on her right eye has gone viral on social media.
According to the infant's mother, Marsala Jan, Hiba was playing inside her house when clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in the wake of an encounter where six militants were killed.
"First, there was tear smoke all around us, which caused coughing in Hiba, and then there was a sudden bang. It was a pellet fired towards our home and my daughter was hit in the eye," Jan had said last month.
Hiba underwent a surgery on November 26 at SMHS hospital in Srinagar as she had suffered corneal perforation due to the pellets.
The doctors maintained that the treatment was a long-drawn process and Hiba's parents would have to take lot of precaution to ensure that she do not get any complications.
Meanwhile, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has demanded an immediate ban on the use of pellet guns which, he alleged, were now being used against even infants.
"Kashmir is the only place in the world where lethal pellets are used against the populace with impunity as a means of repression and dealing with civilian protests," Mirwaiz said after visiting the girl at the hospital here.
The separatist leader said the Centre do not want to resolve the Kashmir issue and "instead wants to exert forced control over the people and territory of Jammu and Kashmir by using its forces and arming them with special powers and laws to free them from any accountability and prosecution".