SRINAGAR: Amnesty Worldwide on Wednesday reiterated its name for a ban on pellet-firing shotguns utilized by Indian forces in Kashmir to quell civilian protests.
In a report, the rights group stated it had interviewed 88 folks whose eyesight had been broken by the metallic shot from the pump-action weapons.
Two of the victims had been utterly blinded.
“The accidents and deaths brought on by this merciless weapon bear testimony to how harmful, inaccurate and indiscriminate it’s,” Akar Patel, government director at Amnesty Worldwide India, stated in an announcement.
“There isn’t any correct approach to make use of pellet-firing shotguns. It’s irresponsible of the authorities to proceed the usage of the shotguns regardless of being conscious of the harm they do.”
Authorities forces in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) have been utilizing pellet weapons since 2010 as a “non-lethal” weapon following widescale civilian protests towards Indian rule.
After a spate of ugly accidents final 12 months that earned the title “epidemic of lifeless eyes”, Amnesty and different rights teams known as for a whole ban on the usage of the shotguns.
A single cartridge fired releases not less than 500 high-speed metallic pellets. These lodge in any out there physique half and are troublesome to take away.
“In some instances, these injured by pellet-firing shotguns nonetheless have the metallic pellets lodged of their skulls, close to their eyes,” stated Dr Zahoor Wani, the lead campaigner within the group.
In its report, Amnesty stated it interviewed folks aged from 9 to 65.
Amongst them was nine-year-old Asif Ahmad Shiekh, whose eyes had been broken by the pellets.
“Watching cartoons on TV, taking part in with my associates on the road, studying books for hours — that is what I dream of now,” the report quoted him as saying.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan for the reason that finish of British colonial rule in 1947. Each declare the territory in full.
Insurgent teams have fought for many years, demanding independence or a merger of the previous Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.
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