Amnesty proposes ban on pellet guns in Kashmir

A Kashmiri youth with eye injuries inflicted by pellets fired by Indian forces. PHOTO: AFP

A Kashmiri youth with eye injuries inflicted by pellets fired by Indian forces. PHOTO: AFP

Following the death of a third person due to injuries inflicted by pellet guns in Indian-held Kashmir, human rights group Amnesty International has proposed banning them.

“Pellet guns are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate, and have no place in law enforcement.” Amnesty India tweeted on Thursday.

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“The death of a third person in Kashmir due to injuries caused by pellet guns is a reminder that the less-lethal weapon has deadly consequences.” Amnesty further said.

“Hundreds of people have been injured, and many blinded, by the use of pellet guns by security forces in Kashmir in recent weeks.”

The rights group proposed an immediate end to the use of pellet guns when it came to policing protests.

Amnesty’s comments come a week after the Indian government gave assurances regarding the constitution of a panel to probe the use of pellet guns to police crowds in the region.

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Fresh clashes erupted between security forces and mourners on Wednesday in Indian-held Kashmir after two more civilians were killed in the restive region.

Paramilitary forces fired tear gas and pellet guns at angry mourners gathered near Pampore for the funeral of a resident shot dead the day before, an unnamed officer said.

The resident was killed on Tuesday night when the bodyguard of a top district administrator fired at protesters who had stopped the pair’s car, witnesses said.

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52 people have died in the unrest bedevilling the disputed territory and nearly 4,000 have been left injured.

Earlier, Amnesty International India Senior Campaigner Zahoor Wani said, “While authorities have a duty to secure people’s lives, they also have an obligation to respect and protect human rights.”

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