Amnesty International calls for ban on use of pellet guns in Kashmir

16 cops injured in pellet firing Amnesty report

16 cops injured in pellet firing Amnesty report

Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International, said that shotguns have been responsible for "blinding, killings and traumatising" hundreds of people in Kashmir.

Aakar Patel said, "In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Modi said that change in Kashmir will not come from guns or abuses - nagoli, nagali".

At least 16 personnel from the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police were treated for pellet injuries in border district of Kupwara in 2016, the report said adding the group had sought further information from J&K police and CRPF but those were not provided by the security agencies. The NGO added that its India unit had documented the cases of 88 people who lost their eyesight either temporarily or permanently due to the security forces' use of pump action guns between 2014 and 2017. The rights body released a report, "Losing Sight in Kashmir - The Impact of Pellet-Firing Shotguns", here and urged the Jammu and Kashmir government to initiate a prompt, independent and impartial probe into incidents, where the use of pellet guns led to deaths or injuries. "Government understands that the damage caused by the pellets is disproportionate". In Kashmir, we have been working, and yes it is hard to work with government on Kashmir issue, and not only for Kashmir issue but for us also.

"If the government truly meant what it said, it must end the use of pellet-guns", he said.

"Authorities claim the pellet shotgun is not lethal, but the injuries and deaths caused by this cruel weapon bear testimony to how risky, inaccurate and indiscriminate it is". It is irresponsible of authorities to continue the use of these guns despite being aware of the damage they do. "I face difficulties during my studies and my memory has become very boring".

Two days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the pellet guns were now being sparingly used in Kashmir, the global human rights watchdog Amnesty worldwide India Wednesday called on Government of India (GoI) to stop the use of pellet guns in Kashmir.

Provide full reparation in line with global standards to those who have been injured by pellet-firing shotguns, and to the families of those killed.

"Unfortunately the central government has turned down requests for information about pellet shotguns".

Zahoor said that they have also obtained information through Right to Information applications suggesting that the use of the inherently inaccurate pellet-firing shotguns by forces has injured other forces personnel. It is unclear if the shotguns have been properly tested, or their effects and risks assessed, or whether there is even any protocol about how they must be used.

"Authorities have a duty to maintain public order, but using pellet shotguns is not the solution", said Patel. "Security forces must address stone-throwing or other violence by protesters by means that allow for better targeting or more control over the harm caused".

Wani said the state government has done little to support those injured and disabled by this weapon.

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