Non-lethal” pellet gun blinding scores of young Kashmiris

Kashmiri girl Insha Malik, 14, lays in a hospital bed after being shot with pellets fired by Indian security forces, with doctors saying she had lost vision in both eyes, in the surgical ICU hospital in Srinagar, in India-administered Kashmir on July 16, 2016. According to relatives, Insha was on the first floor of her home when forces fired pellet guns into the building on July 12. She was rushed to the hospital and joined hundreds of injured Kashmiris who have reported devastating eye injuries caused by “non-lethal” pellet gun firings.

Amir Lone, MBA Student,Kupwara after offering absentia funeral prayers held for Burhan wani, were on his way home. They were walking quite peacefully but the forces deployed in the market started to provoke them by abusing the slain hero and his associates. As soon as they retaliated by pelting stones as emotions were running very high, the CRPF opened fire with their ‘Non-lethal’ weapons on them directly by injuring severely.

Mohammad Imran, 10th class student, Kulgam was returning home from tuitions. There were some clashes going on near his house and as soon as he reached the main gate of his house, a policeman showered a volley of pellets directly onto his face. He fell down in pain and the next thing he recount is waking up in the hospital.

Shabir Ahmad, Shopkeeper, Pulwama was near his windows watching the ongoing clashes between the youth and the paramilitary forces. When saw policemen showering pellets on protesters, he quickly tried to move away from his window but was hit in the left eye by a pellet which made him left like he was going to die. Now he can’t see clearly from his left eye.

Insha, Amir, Imran, Shabir are among many other victims who suffered from the so-called non-lethal pellet guns. These ‘Non-lethal’ weapons have proven to be far more dangerous than actual bombs and bullets.

The death of popular rebel leader Burhan Wani in a gunfight with government forces last week sparked clashes in which more than 3,000 people, including about 200 police officers, have been injured. It is the worst civilian violence to hit the region since 2010, when mass protests broke out and left 120 dead. Hospitals in the main city of Srinagar have struggled to cope with the rush of wounded, hundreds of them with severe injuries in their eyes. These so-called non-lethal pellet guns has wounded, blinded and killed scores of youth.