‘Cause Indiscriminate and Excessive Injury’: HRW Wants Pellet Guns Banned in Kashmir

The use of shotguns has resulted in “shocking, grievous injuries of protesters and bystanders”, the NGO said in a statement.

New Delhi: After severe injuries were caused to Shia mourners participating in a Muharram procession in Srinagar, international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday asked Indian police and paramilitary forces to stop using pellet-firing guns in Kashmir as they cause ‘grievous injuries’.

On August 29, pellet guns were fired on people in Khomeini Chowk because they were part of a Muharram procession that violated COVID-19 guidelines. Reports suggest that at least 40 people were injured in the firing, including minors.

“Time and again, Indian law enforcement’s use of shotguns in Kashmir has resulted in shocking, grievous injuries of protesters and bystanders,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW. “Indian authorities need to recognise that this weapon fired into crowds, even with violent demonstrators, will invariably cause indiscriminate and excessive injury in violation of international standards.”

“Indian leaders who claim that their policies are improving the lives of Kashmiris cannot disregard that security forces are maiming, blinding, and killing people,” Ganguly said. “The Indian government should cease the use of shotguns firing metal pellets and review its crowd control techniques to meet international standards.”


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