Srinagar: Pellet-firing pump-action shotguns have been responsible for killing, blinding and injuring thousands of people in Kashmir, said Amnesty International India, Tuesday as it launched a postcard campaign and online petition seeking a ban on the use of the shotguns.
The campaign aims to bring people from across Jammu and Kashmir to write postcards to the state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“It is shameful that the serious concerns raised repeatedly regarding the use of pellet-firing guns have failed to receive sufficient attention from the state government,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India in a statement.
“The use of pellet shotguns is inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate. These so called ‘non-lethal’ weapons have killed at least 14 people since July 2016. Thousands more have suffered extensive and debilitating physical and psychological harm. It is unconscionable for authorities to continue using pellet-firing shotguns despite being aware of the damage they cause.”
“Through this campaign, we want to send a message to the state government that the people of Kashmir want an immediate end to the use of pellet-firing shotguns. The voices of the victims and those who stand in solidarity with them must be heard,” said Zahoor Wani, Campaigner, Amnesty International India.
The state government admitted recently in the state legislative assembly that 6,221 persons had received pellet shotgun injuries, including 782 eye injuries, between July 2016 and February 2017,