Srinagar: In an interesting revelation made by the Amnesty International (AI) India on Wednesday, policemen have also been fired upon with pellets during the 2016 public uprising in Kashmir.
An AI member said, “We have found that cops (of J&K Police), too, are victims of pellet firing.”
“A hospital in Kupwara revealed through RTI that it treated several cops who were hit by pellets in 2016,” he said. “The cops were hit in arms, head and (even) in eyes.”
When asked whether cops in Kupwara were not trained well in using the shotgun weapon, the AI member said, “(Despite that fact), the people who fire the pellets are safe.”
The AI, however, maintained that not all the health facilities in Kashmir revealed information about the pellet victims.
The pellet fury during the 2016 uprising left over 6,000 civilians injured, many of whom were hit in their eyes. Several youth were killed after they were hit by pellets.
“The effects of these weapons will be felt for years to come,” said the AI.
In its report, the AI has documented cases of 88 people whose eyesight was damaged temporarily or permanently – by metal pellets fired between 2014 and 2017. “Their lives have changed entirely, and they are struggling to cope,” said an AI member during the function.
“School-going boys and girls have lost vision in one or both eyes. They have difficulty reading, playing with friends, or watching cartoons. College students have had to give up their dreams of pursuing higher education. Young men and primary breadwinners of families say that they cannot earn a living anymore, and that they are now a liability for their families.
“Several people have not regained their eyesight despite going through repeated surgeries, and are spending considerable amounts on medical treatment. Some still have pellets inside their eyes, because it is medically risky to remove them,” the AI member said.