Over 50 European parliamentarians write to Modi, seek ban on use of pellet guns in Kashmir

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, over 50 members of the European parliament have sought a ban on the use of pellet guns in Kashmir.

“We, the undersigned, in our capacity as elected Members of the European Parliament, are writing to you to express our grave concern about the past and ongoing human rights violations against people in Kashmir, as reported in a recent OHCHR1 report,” said the members in the letter, dated March 25, 2019.

The members said they were particularly concerned about the usage of pellet shotguns, responsible for blinding, killing and traumatizing hundreds of people in Kashmir.

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“We particularly note the tragic case of 19-month old child who was gravely injured by a pellet gun (BBC report). We are concerned that The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 (PSA) give security forces virtual immunity against prosecution for any human rights violation,” read the letter further.

“Therefore, we, the undersigned MEPs, urge the Indian government to immediately end the use of pellet-firing shotguns in Jammu and Kashmir and bring all relevant Indian laws into compliance with international human rights standards,” added the letter.

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The MPs also sought repealing of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 and amending of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. “…provide full and effective reparation and rehabilitation to those who have been injured by pellet-firing shotguns, and to the families of those killed.”

The members asked the Indian government to establish independent and impartial investigations into all “accidents where the use of pellet-firing shotguns led to deaths or serious injuries.”

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The signatories include Wajid Khan MEP, Julie Girling MEP, Alex Mayer MEP, Tunne Kelam MEP, Amjad Bashir MEP, Jose Inacio Faria MEP, Sajjad Karim MEP, Lucy Anderson MEP, Julie Ward MEP, Richard Corbett MEP, Jonathan Arnott MEP, Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Theresa Griffin MEP, Maria Gabriela Zoană MEP, Helga Stevens MEP, Barbara Lochbihler MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Mary Honeyball MEP, John Howarth MEP, Csaba Sógor MEP, Derek Vaughan MEP, Momchil Nekov MEP, David Martin MEP, Linda McAvan MEP, Margrete Auken MEP, Jakop Dalunde MEP, Baroness Nosheena Mobarik MEP, Klaus Buchner MEP, Liliana Rodrigues MEP, Edouard Martin MEP, Rory Palmer MEP, Josef Weidenholzer MEP, Anthea McIntyre MEP, Eva Kaili MEP, Maria Arena MEP, Eugen Freund MEP, Arndt Kohn MEP, Brando Benifei MEP, Ana Gomes MEP, Paul Brannen MEP, Siôn Simon MEP, Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP, Bart Staes MEP, Jordi Solé MEP, Soraya Post MEP, Andrejs Mamikins MEP, Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP, Claude Moraes MEP, Elena Valenciano MEP, Caroline Nagtegaal ME.

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