Thursday , August 18th : yet another ambulance arrives at SMHS , Srinagars main hospital. Last in line to the emergency room is the ambulance driver , who has managed to complete the run with shotgun wounds in his hand from a roadblock. The frustration of the docs in Srinagar has now reached the point where they have started to leak X-ray pics to the press , pics that are gruesome enough to make laymen pause.
The theory behind CPRFs armament and strategy is that their pellet shotguns are non-lethal when aimed below the knees. In actual practice they have had a devastating effect all too often from the abdomen and up , shown on a near daily basis on the front page pictures since July 8th. Punctured lungs , abdominal bleedings and , the icon of 2016 : the permanently blinded. Last estimate was 400+ with severe eye injuries to one or both eyes.
Little reason to believe in any immediate changes for the better , with announced plans for continued strikes and protest marches over the weekend.
The tourist perspective checklist :
* flights to Srinagar : airlines offered full refunds for tickets at least up to the 16th.
* Jammu-Srinagar road is open again, out first two weeks
* travel insurances are basically void during curfews etc – check the official travel advisory back home.
* Srinagar-Leh road is open , see the updates at http://korta.nu/sticky