Wounded in shell explosion, Kashmiri boy fights for life, family demands govt aid

Asif Wani, 15-year-old Kashmiri was injured when a littered shell exploded in Tosa Maidan, Budgam in Central Kashmir on 26 May 2020.

For the past more than a week, Asif Wani has been battling for his life at a hospital in Srinagar. Asif and his four friends were playing in the meadow that was until 2016 a firing range for the army.

Asif has shrapnel lodged inside his brain from the explosion, said his family member.

The boy’s family livelihood is dependent on a small patch of land on which rice is grown and embroidery work done by his sister.

“They can’t even arrange two thousand rupees for his treatment,” said Sheikh Maqbool, his brother-in-law.

Budgam District Administration had offered an amount of 10,000 rupees to the family but it was rejected by the family.

“We have to buy medicines worth 15,000 rupees every day. The government is not helping us,” said Mr. Maqbool.

“My brother hasn’t been injured in a road accident. It’s because of the government’s negligence and carelessness that live shells are still in Tosa Maidan because of which he got critically injured,” Asif’s elder sister Maqsooda said.

The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang Pole, had sent officials with 5000 rupees for Asif’s treatment but the family declined this as well.

“The govt’s insulting approach makes us cry. We don’t want money, instead, authorities should talk to the concerned hospital authorities to know the expenses and directly give the amount to them for his treatment,” Maqsooda said.

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