Srinagar: Human Rights Watch, the internationally reputed NGO has called for a complete ban against the usage of pellet guns, days after Shia Muslims in the Kashmir valley said that the guns cause ‘grevious injuries’.
Dozens of Shia Muslims during the annual Muharram processions were injured when Police used force to foil the processions. Prominent Kashmiri organizations also condemned the use of ‘brute force’ against the participants of these processions.
“Time and again, Indian law enforcement’s use of shotguns in Kashmir has resulted in shocking, grievous injuries of protesters and bystanders,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW.
“Indian authorities need to recognise that this weapon fired into crowds, even with violent demonstrators, will invariably cause indiscriminate and excessive injury in violation of international standards.”
“Indian leaders who claim that their policies are improving the lives of Kashmiris cannot disregard that security forces are maiming, blinding, and killing people,” Ganguly said.
“The Indian government should cease the use of shotguns firing metal pellets and review its crowd control techniques to meet international standards.”
HRW in the statement said that pellets have caused thousands of injuries, including loss of eyesight, since the shotguns were first deployed them as an “ostensibly ‘non-lethal’ option” for crowd control, in 2010.
HRW said while no accurate data on casualties from shotgun-fired pellets is available, at least 17 people were killed in Kashmir due to the use of pellet guns between 2015 and 2017. (The Kashmiriyat)