Global rights group Amnesty International on Thursday asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to stop the use of pellet guns which have claimed lives and left hundreds blinded in the ongoing protests in Kashmir Valley.
“Pellet guns are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate, and have no place in law enforcement,” Zahoor Wani, Senior Campaigner, Amnesty International India said in a statement issued in New Delhi. “Amnesty International India calls on the Jammu and Kashmir government to immediately stop the use of pellet guns in policing protests. They cannot ensure well-targeted shots and risk causing serious injury, including to bystanders or other protesters not engaging in violence. These risks are almost impossible to control.”
Amnesty also termed the weapon as a “less-lethal” weapon which has “deadly consequences”. Authorities have termed the pellet gun as a “non-lethal” weapon. “The death of a third person in Jammu and Kashmir due to injuries caused by pellet guns is a reminder that the ‘less-lethal’ weapon can have deadly consequences.” On Wednesday, 23-year-old Riyaz Ahmed Shah died in Srinagar of multiple pellet injuries.
“The autopsy report said that Riyaz was shot at from a close range, and there were multiple pellet injuries to his vital organs. The state police have registered a murder case against unnamed security personnel,” Amnesty said.
Over 50 people have died and thousands injured in clashes with security forces after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.