SRINAGAR: Global rights group Amnesty International on Thursday asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to stop the use of pellet guns that have claimed lives and left hundreds blinded in the ongoing uprising in Kashmir Valley.
“Pellet guns are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate, and have no place in law enforcement,” Zahoor Wani, senior campaigner for Amnesty International India, was quoted as saying in a statement issued in New Delhi.
“Amnesty International India calls on the Jammu and Kashmir government to immediately stop the use of pellet guns in policing protests. They cannot ensure well-targeted shots and risk causing serious injury, including to the bystanders or other protesters not engaging in violence. These risks are almost impossible to control.”
The body described pellet gun as a “less-lethal” weapon but with “deadly consequences”.
“The death of a third person in Jammu and Kashmir due to injuries caused by pellet guns is a reminder that the less-lethal weapon can have deadly consequences,” Wani said, referring to the killing of 23-year-old Riyaz Ahmed Shah of Srinagar due to pellet firing.
“The autopsy report said that Riyaz was shot at from a close range, and there were multiple pellet injuries to his vital organs. The state police have registered a murder case against unnamed security personnel,” the senior campaigner said.
At least 52 civilians have been killed in Kashmir in the uprising that erupted with militant commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8. The killings occurred due to firing of bullets and pellets by the government forces on the protesters, even as pellet guns have caused injuries to a large number of civilians.
Many civilians have received pellets in the eyes. Most of them have lost their eyesight while a strong apprehension is that many others too will not be able to see again.