Amnesty International demands ban on pellet guns

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2017

The controversial use of pellet guns to disperse protesters by security forces in trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir was once again discussed at length on Wednesday at an event hosted by the Amnesty International in Srinagar. "Government understands that the damage caused by the pellets is disproportionate", he said Patel claimed that since 1989, no case or FIR registered against the security forces had been acted upon. Patel pointed out that his organization was working in Kashmir for a long time, and since 1989, no case or FIR registered against the forces had been acted upon.

The report named 88 people, who were injured by pellets fired by security forces to quell protests in the Valley between 2014 and 2017. It says, "Authorities claim the pellet shotgun is not lethal, but the injuries and deaths caused by this cruel weapon bear testimony to how risky, inaccurate and indiscriminate it is".

"Doctors have been afraid to remove the pellets, fearing that it will affect eyesight, but they are not sure what the long-term effects will be", he said.

According to the report, many show symptoms of psychological trauma and all of them face everyday struggles: of dealing with the darkness.

Amnesty International also criticized Indian authorities for failing to support those who have been injured and disabled by the weapons.

The body also launched a campaign urging chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and Union home minister Rajnath Singh to immediately end the use of the pellet-firing shotguns in the restive state. "AI India wrote to the JKP and CRPF for further information, but no responses were received", it said. We have raised the issue with the government and it has assured us that they will be used only in extreme situations. "Though it was not very effective, the pellet guns have been used less compared to earlier", he said on Monday.

AI (India) also demanded that the authorities should also provide full reparation in line with worldwide standards to those injured by pellet-firing shotguns and to the families of those killed. The shotguns fire a large number of small pellets spreading over a wide range. "These risks are virtually impossible to control", the report says.

"New narrative from New Delhi on justice in J&K is needed which is missing till now", said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.

Provide relevant training on crowd control measures and the use of force and firearms to security force personnel of the central and state governments, as laid out in the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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