Conflict

JK Panthers Party founder writes to President of India, seeks stoppage of pellet use in Kashmir

Srinagar: Expressing concern over the use of pellets by armed forces personnel in Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party founder and former JK legislator has said that he has written to the President of India Ramnath Kovind seeking the ban on pellet use.

In a statement, Singh said that he has written to the President of India, Ramnath Kovind that pellets being used in Kashmir must be stopped as early as possible. He said pellets are “being used on civilians including children and women protestors whenever they hit streets.”

He, according to the statement, has also made a strong appeal to the Human Rights Commission in Geneva for intervention to ensure that no police or any wing of armed forces shall use pellets against civilians.

Singh has urged the Human Rights Commission to ensure that no country in the world shall allowed its armed forces to use lethal weapon on the streets anywhere. He said that by using such weapons India is using force on the people of Kashmiris and he condemns the act.

Earlier in a week, at least 30 mourners who were part of the Muharram procession were injured in Srinagar and Budgam districts of central Kashmir after police resorted to tear-gas shelling and pellet firing on the mourners.

In backdrop of the use of force on Shia mourners last week, Global watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that Indian armed forces in Kashmir are “maiming, blinding, and killing people”, citing the continuation of’ defying international norms’ by using pellet guns as a means of crowd control.

In a statement to Anadulo Agency – a Turkey based portal, Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW said: “time and again, Indian law enforcement’s use of [pellet] shotguns in Kashmir has resulted in shocking, grievous injuries of protesters and bystanders.”

“The weapon causes indiscriminate and excessive injury and violates international standards and laws such as the UN’s Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms. Indian leaders who claim that their policies are improving the lives of Kashmiris cannot disregard that security forces are maiming, blinding, and killing people,” the statement added.

 

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