Amnesty International India today said that not only civilians but forces personnel were also injured due to pellets.
Amnesty International India said that using Right to Information act it had sought responses to a query about a list of persons treated for injuries in government hospitals in six blocks in Kupwara district in 2016.
“At least 16 personnel from the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police were treated for pellet injuries in Kupwara in 2016,” Amnesty said.
AI said that it also wrote to the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force seeking information on whether any of their personnel had been injured by pellet firing shotguns and their details, but no responses were received.
“It is something we should look at people who are firing the pellets are also not safe. How can it be safe for someone who are on the other side,” said Wani.
The report “Losing Sight in Kashmir: The impact of pellet-Firing Shotguns” which was released here in Srinagar said that the policemen received injuries in mostly upper parts of the body like eyes, arms, hands, chest and hands.
“It is unclear if the shot guns have been properly tested to their effects and risks assessed, or whether there is even any protocol about how they must be used,” Zahoor Wani, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International India said.
Earlier in January this year, CRPF had said that it had tweaked its pellet shotguns and fitted them with a visor to minimize the damage done during crowd controlling. Pellet guns were fitted with shields to prevent the pellets from spreading too far from the target. However, experts had criticized the ‘tweaking’ and said that it was a ‘failure’.
“From 2015, we have been calling an absolute ban on of pellets shot-guns as it violates international human rights standards on the use of Force,” Said Sailesh Rai, Senior Policy advisor to Amnesty International India.
“These shot-guns spread pellets over a wide area, which makes it impossible for security personnel to ensure that they are hitting stone throwing protesters. There is no way to control the trajectory or the direction of the pellets,” he added.