Protesters have been beaten to death, killed with teargas canisters
SRINAGAR: Given the diverse methods by which civilians have been killed in Kashmir during the ongoing uprising and before, the demand of the pro-India opposition and some rights defenders is only narrowing down the debate to use of supposedly non-lethal pellet guns.
At least 68 people have been killed in Kashmir since the anti-India uprising began on July 8 after the killing of Burhan Muzaffar Wani. The number of those injured has crossed 5000 mark and counting, as the use of force on protesters continues.
From the very first day, use of pellet guns, which are held responsible for killing or maiming dozens of protesters, is being argued against.
On Monday, the opposition parties, led by National Conference’s Omar Abdullah, who is said to have approved the use of pellet guns in Kashmir during his regime, made a formal demand to the Prime Minister of India for an end to the use of pellet guns.
Earlier, similar appeals were made to home minister of India, Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Kashmir.
However, no voices are being raised against the actual culprit—use of force, excessive or otherwise, over the civilian, unarmed protesters in the Valley.
Here are a few examples to illustrate that civilians are being killed even without firing bullets or pellets:
Killing with tearsmoke canisters
When the opposition was in New Delhi to plead against the use of just pellet guns, the government forces killed a teenager by firing a teargas canister at his chest. The 18-year-old resident of Fateh Kadal, Srinagar, was declared ‘brought dead’ at the SMHS Hospital.
Beaten to death
Last week, Shabir Ahmad Mungoo, a resident of Shar-e-Shali village in Khrew, Pulwama, in south Kashmir was thrashed to death by the soldiers of the Indian army during a nocturnal raid.
Mungoo, a lecturer, was picked up from his house, taken to a nearby army camp, and as per the reported accounts, beaten to death. A 15-year-old boy of TuliNowpora in Kulgam district, Irfan Wani, was beaten to death by CRPF troopers in their camp.
Frightened to death
On August 10, a 55-year-old woman died at Bemina, Srinagar, when, according to witnesses, when government forces shot a marble at her with a slingshot and pointed the gun at her.
Drowned to death
On July 9, Safeer Ahmad, an MBA student from south Kashmir, was beaten to death by government forces near Ganishbal, Aishmuqam. The witness account is that he was hit on his head by the forces with gun-butts and then thrown into water to make it appear a case of drowning.
Such methods have not been used for the first time. There are instances of civilians being killed without the use of weapons even in 2010.
For instance, Omar Qayoom Bhat, a teenager from Soura, Srinagar, was, according to his family, first ruthlessly beaten up by the government forces and then kept in custody without medical attention.
The incident happened in August 2010.
Bhat succumbed to his internal injuries at SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).
Sameer Rah, an 8-year-old kid from Batmaloo, was trampled to death by the government forces when he playing in a street outside his house.