Doctors are fighting to save the right eye of Hiba Jan, the 20-month-old who has become an emblem of India’s devastating and highly contentious use of pellet-firing shotguns in Kashmir, where a separatist conflict has raged since 1947.
India began deploying the pump-action guns, which spew 600 metal shards at high velocity at a time, in the restive part of Kashmir it controls 2010, since then killing dozens and maiming thousands.
As her husband sobbed, Hiba Jan’s mother Marsala said that they were shot at trying to escape from clouds of tear gas during disturbances last Sunday.
Troops were trying to push back thousands of villagers protesting after the deaths of six suspected militants and a civilian in a fierce firefight that also killed one soldier.
“As soon as I tried to open the metal wire mesh door to get out, a soldier outside fired pellets at us,” Marsala told AFP at the SMHS hospital in Srinagar.
“Instinctively, I covered Hiba’s eyes with my hand but pellets broke through the net and one lodged in her right eye,” she said, sat in a dark waiting room crowded with other victims.https://www.france24.com/en/20181130-indian-pellet-guns-kashmir-kill-blind-enrage