Amnesty International calls for ban on use of pellet guns in Kashmir

Deliberate denial of justice happens only in Jammu and Kashmir: Amnesty India chief

 

Amnesty International India Wednesday sought an immediate ban on the use of pellet guns as a crowd-control measure in Kashmir, asserting that violence in any form, including stone-pelting, was not acceptable. The rights body released a report, “Losing Sight in Kashmir – The Impact of Pellet-Firing Shotguns”, here and urged the Jammu and Kashmir government to initiate a prompt, independent and impartial probe into incidents, where the use of pellet guns led to deaths or injuries.

The report named 88 people, who were injured by pellets fired by security forces to quell protests in the Valley between 2014 and 2017. Of them, 31 suffered injuries to both the eyes, with two of them losing their vision completely, the report said. Speaking on the occasion, the executive director of Amnesty International India, Aakar Patel, demanded that the central and state governments ensure “the weapons are used in line with international human rights standards”.

He said apart from the civilians, about 16 security personnel suffered pellet injuries, to emphasise that such weapons are inherently indiscriminate and their use can hurt police and armed forces personnel. The report also recommended full reparation in line with international standards of those injured by pellets and the families of those who were killed.

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