SRINAGAR: Insha Mushtaq, a young Kashmiri girl who got blinded by pellets during 2016 unrest, passed the Class 10 board exam whose results were declared yesterday, evoking praise for her “determination and resilience”, with many comparing her with Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yusufzai.

Insha, 16, who became the face of the repression by security forces in the aftermath of the killing of Burhan Wani that sparked spontaneous protests and shutdown across the Valley for nearly five months in 2016, was declared to have passed the exam.

According to the officials, Insha will have to appear in Mathematics paper again in which she is shown to have secured zero marks bute has been declared qualified with a note that “she needs to improve’. The young girl wrote her papers with the aide of a helper who was a student of a lower class and got dictation from Insha.

Speaking with The Citizen over phone from their residence in South Kashmir’s Sedow village, Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, Insha's father, said the family is delighted by the results, “After what happened to her, it is nothing short of a miracle that she has passed the exam. It is the fruit of her hard work. It’s a proud moment for me,” Lone said.

At the peak of 2016 unrest, Insha was shot with a pellet bomb in her face when she had looked out of the window of her home in South Kashmir. According to doctors who treated her, there were more than 350 pellets embedded in her face, which had damaged her both eyes and also fractured the skull.

The young girl underwent multiple surgeries to fix her face but the doctors could not restore her vision. Insha started learning Braille system and used to go to school regularly, Lone said. “She was determined not to give up. Her courage in the face of tragedy kept us going. She is a brave girl and my joy knows no bounds.”

The news of her result evoked joy and celebrations in Kashmir. Politicians, cutting across ideological spectrum, joined in congratulating Insha for passing the exam. Social media was flooded with reactions to Insha's success on Class 10 exam.

In a tweet, moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq congratulated the teenager: “Congratulations to brave Insha Mushtaq on clearing her class 10 exams. Despite going through the trauma of losing her eye sight due to pellets, she has managed an amazing feat. Her determination and resilience is an example for everyone. May Allah bless her always”.

Former chief minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said: “A special shout out to young Insha who was blinded by pellets during the 2016 protests & has cleared her 10th exams today. May Allah keep rewarding your hard work & efforts".

In an another tweet, Abdullah also congratulated all tenth class candidates who qualified the exam. “Congratulations to all the boys & girls who cleared their Class 10 exams in J&K. Good luck for the future & I hope you continue to pursue your education,” he tweeted.

Many social media users on Twitter and Facebook compared the young girl with Malala Yusufzai, who was shot by the Taliban and went on to win a Nobel in Peace, “Insha isn't Malala of Kashmir. She is Insha, Our Insha much more than Malala,” Faizaan Bhat wrote on Facebook.

“#insha inspiration .... congrats... Allah bless uh .,” Ghalib Afzal, son of 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was executed in New Delhi’s Tihar jail, said in a post.

“#Kashmir 's #Pellet victim Insha Mushtaq who lost her eye sight in 2016 clears her 10th class exam. Indeed an achievement despite such a handicap,” senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, wrote on his Facebook wall.