Pellet Victim of 2016 uprising dies in Kulgam, Probe begins

Cause not known yet, say doctors; Natural death, say police

A 26 year old youth of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district who had sustained multiple pellet injuries during last year’s uprising died Monday morning at a local orphanage, the ambulance of which he used to drive. While doctors said they could not establish the cause of death, police maintained that initial investigations reveal he died of “natural causes.”
Wasim Ahmad Thokur S/O Haji Mushtaq Ahmad Thokur of Schuch village of Kulgam, according to family and eyewitnesses, was found dead in the room of Yateem Foundation in Chawlagam village in the morning.

According to the volunteers of the Yateem Foundation, “Wasim used to ferry patients as well as those who sustained injuries during summer uprising in ambulance to Srinagar hospitals and on Monday he was supposed to carry similar patients. We called him on phone multiple times to wake him up but he did not respond. He had bolted the door from inside so we knocked at it, but again could not get any response. Finally we broke through the window only to find him dead.”
They said that though they rushed him to district hospital Kulgam, but he was declared brought dead by the doctors.
Speaking to Kashmir Post, Medical Superintendent District Hospital Kulgam, Dr Roshan Din Kasana, said that the cause of his death could not be ascertained yet.

“Wasim was brought dead to the hospital and later the attendants took him along. Neither family nor police sought postmortem of the body. Even though the family narrated the history of he having sustained multiple pellets in chest in September last year, but the cause of death could not be established,” said the MS.
He, however, said that death due to cardiac arrest cannot be overruled.
Police, on the other hand, maintained that even though they have launched investigations but it seemed to be a natural death.
“Even though we are carrying proceedings under 174 CrPC but initial reports suggest it to be a natural death,” said Superintendent of Police (SP) Kulgam, Sridhar Patel.
The family and locals, however, say that the death was triggered by pellet injuries the victim had sustained in September last year.
“Wasim had sustained multiple pellet injuries fired by government forces in September last year during Mirhama chalo march. He was first treated at PHC Mohamadpora where from he was shifted to SMHS Srinagar,” family said.
“Doctors at the SMHS had told him that a few pellets remained embedded in lungs but it won’t cause any problem if he avoids physical exertion,” family said.
They added that he had around 300 pellets, some of which he had got removed locally.
“Of late he was complaining of chest pain after which we took him to district hospital Anantnag where doctors after carrying investigations advised him to take proper treatment,” said the family.
They said that before being hit by pellets Wasim was hale and hearty and had no previous history of cardiac problem.
Thousands of people participated in his funeral prayers at his native village amid pro-freedom slogans after which he was laid to rest.