Amnesty International releases video on ‘lethality of pellets’

Abid Hussain/Srinagar
January 31, 2018 TOP STORIES 308 Views
Amnesty International releases video on ‘lethality of pellets’

After launching a postcard campaign to ban pump action shotguns, Amnesty International India has now released a video, urging government to prohibit use of pellet guns.
In a two-minute sketched video available on social networking sites, Amnesty briefly raised the issue of four victims including two females, who were hit by tiny pellets.
“Ruby Jan community health worker faced an onslaught of pellets, when she stepped out to look for her son,” informs a voice-over in a video of human rights group.
The video in the beginning mocks at authorities, who defend the use of pellets. “They (Government) say pellet shotguns are non-lethal,” it says, however, it quickly counters government claim by informing that pellets have blinded hundreds, partially or fully and also 16 security personnel were injured in Kashmir.
Sketched video says that metal pellets do not spare anyone; they do not follow a definite path and scatter in air once fired. “Not sparing the ones targeted, nor the ones standing by,” it adds.
Human rights watchdog has included Ifra Shakoor a student from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district in a video, which informs, “Shakoor a student of class nine has difficulty reading now, she can’t go outside to play and her future is insecure.”
Another victim Mohammad Asif Dar’s caricature could be seen in a video, who was hit by lead pellets when he was in the playground. Amnesty also raised the issue of another victim; an electrician by profession who “can see form and light” but, “cannot identify faces”.
Quoting the families of victims, video tells, “Some families of victims say they are harassed by the police and relatives arrested without cause.” Exclaiming at authorities it narrates, pellet shotguns are lethal not non-lethal. It ends with a question posing at viewers “If something that leads to all this, should remain legal”.
Meanwhile, pellet cartridges have killed at least 14 people in Kashmir since July, 2016 and left more than thousand injured, however still their use is unabated as in last week, a youth from Pulwama was hit by pellets in eye.
The grave issue of pellets was highlighted by international media with The New York Times came up with a headline “Epidemic of Dead Eyes in Kashmir as India Uses Pellet Guns on Protesters”. While, The Guardian wrote “India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?”

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