Srinagar: During a panel discussion after the release of Amnesty India’s report, ‘Losing Sight in Kashmir: The Impact of Pellet-Firing Shotguns”, the AI team said that of the total 88 cases of pellet injuries to eyes it documented in Kashmir, 14 cases were of housewives.
“Pellets were fired on them when they were within their homes and were not part of any protest,” the AI team said.
“One lady was preparing (afternoon) tea,” a member of the team said.
Aside from the cases of women, the AI study found that 31 persons were hit by pellets in both their eyes. “Two have lost eyesight completely,” the member said.
Of all the cases, he said, “FIR has been registered in only one case.” “In most cases, FIRs have been registered against the (pellet) victims.”
“The family which lodged the case has no information about the (progress) of the case as they are given no information (by authorities),” he said.
In teenage girl Insha Mushtaq’s case, he said, “Everybody knows who fired the pellets… (but) nobody knows what action was taken against him.”
Insha was shot on her face by a volley of pellets in Sedow area of Shopian. Her face was completely disfigured and she lost complete eyesight.
He said that the pellet victims were suffering from various ailments including psychological and physical trauma, memory loss, and hypertension. “This needs proper rehabilitation,” he said.
About students who were hit by pellets, he said, “They have been forced to give up their studies.”
The use of pellets in Kashmir has taken a toll on education and mental health, the report of the AI has revealed.