India’s pellet guns rob Kashmiris of their vision

Published: July 19, 2016
PHOTO: Kashmir Observer

PHOTO: Kashmir Observer

Since protests erupted in Kashmir , over 2,000 people have been injured, most to their eyes owing to small steel pellets fired by Indian forces.

Since the killing of Burhan Wani in a police encounter, Indian-held Kashmir has descended into violence. The government adopted all means to curb the protests  but it failed to prevent clashes between protesters and security forces . The violence has left over 45 people dead while over 2,000 have been injured, including 600 who suffered pellet injuries.

“Scores of young men with bandages on their eyes, before or after undergoing surgery to remove tiny steel pellets from their retinas,” Kashmiri Mirza Waheed describes scenes in Kashmir  The Guardian reported  on Monday.

“Indian forces deployed now routinely use pellet guns to stymie roadside demonstrations,” Waheed states.

The guns, he says, were supposed to be New Delhi’s answer to  ‘non-lethal’ crowd control devices. Owing to the frequent use of the weapon in the past 10 days, doctors have had to perform around 150 eye surgeries. There was a point when requests to seek reinforcement of eye-specialists.

“It’s a fate worse than death,” Waheed narrated one doctor as saying that most victims will lose their eyesight.

“No other country has wilfully blinded scores of youths,” Waheed lamented.

Pakistan fanning flames

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday accused Pakistan of sponsoring unrest in Indian Kashmir as he termed the UN-mandated plebiscite ‘outdated’.

“Pakistan has been playing an irresponsible role, it should not claim to be the protector of Muslims,” Singh told the Rajya Sabha, Times of India reported.

“Whatever is happening is completely Pakistan-sponsored. The name is Pakistan, but all its actions are ‘napaak’.”

Rejecting the disputed status of Kashmir, he asserted that Kashmiris were India’s ‘own people’ and went on to rule out a ‘plebiscite’ in the disputed valley which is mandated under UN Security Council resolutions. He said the plebiscite was ‘outdated’ and that the people of the valley were being ‘misguided’ on the issue.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Hakim Afghani
    Jul 19, 2016 - 8:56AM

    Don’t protest and it would have never happened.Recommend

  • Mustafa Kashmiri
    Jul 19, 2016 - 9:14AM

    If I am a responsible parent, I will ensure my kids safety by sending them to school or asking them to remain at home or at a place away from stone throwing rioters.Recommend

  • Ashfaque Ahmed USA
    Jul 19, 2016 - 9:25AM

    When is Pakistan going to give Pakistan Occupied Kashmir back to India which it is illegally occupying for so long??

    Pakistan’s policy of fomenting religious hatred and continued infiltration for last 70 years is the main reason which has deprived Kashmiris of peace and prosperity they deserve. Hope Pakistan accept this reality and let them live in peace if Pakistan really wants a genuine peace and prosperity for Kashmiris. By force there is no way Pakistan can take an inch more from India.Recommend

  • Shame!
    Jul 19, 2016 - 10:05AM

    And they claim to be the world’s biggest democracy. Shameful and painful at the same time! This is what the Hindu nation has learned so far: Height of intolerance and brutality.Recommend

  • deepu
    Jul 19, 2016 - 10:45AM

    Handful of terrorists & its sponsors taking ordinary Kashmiris’ lives at ransom. It is State’s responsibility to establish rules of law and force will be used if situation demands. The fate of Nawab Akbar Bugti is infront of us.

    Mr. Arun Jaitely is right to mention as Pakistan is not willing to face the truth of Kashmir being an integral part of Indian Union and India has the right to establish its writ on every part of its territory. Recommend

  • Proud Indian
    Jul 19, 2016 - 10:54AM

    stop aiding and abetting terrorism pakistanis.. thats the only problem in Kashmir now.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:17AM

    @Hakim Afghani:
    They are not AfghansRecommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:18AM

    @Proud Indian:
    are all those protesting, terrorists in your eyes?Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:19AM

    Since you live in a land of more than one billion people, a few hundred thousand protestors will seem a handful to youRecommend

  • Wajahat
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:19AM

    Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan. Period! India should stop the genocide it is carrying out in Kashmir.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:21AM

    @Ashfaque Ahmed USA:
    When did you last see hundreds of thousands of Kahmiris in Pakistani “occupied” Kashmir waving Indian flags?Recommend

  • Ghin
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:29AM

    Pallet guy is more dangerous than the F16 fighter jets which are used to tackle militants…. See withinRecommend

  • whatever
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:43AM

    instead of pellet guns India must use MIG 21 like Pakistan used F 16 to crush innocent people of FATA. Recommend

  • Mr.
    Jul 19, 2016 - 11:43AM

    These Indian Hindu trolls have audacity to troll back here and defend their barbarism, and what’s more interesting is that they cry tears of being victims of terrorism.Recommend

  • sanjeev
    Jul 19, 2016 - 12:12PM

    @Shame!: : The problem really is unemployment. Many tourists returning from Kashmir informed that these unemployed youth are given Rs. 300/- for five hours of stone pelting and shouting slogans against India. The hope that police will only do light lathi charge in self-defense and if they keep safe distance while pelting stones on security forces, they will return home safely with Rs. 300/-. Once security forces start shooting and using pallet guns, the story will be different. Then the parents will prohibit their children from going out for just Rs. 300/-.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jul 19, 2016 - 12:25PM

    Millions of Kashmiri hindus too had to flee . did they all take up to militancy ? Recommend

  • irfan
    Jul 19, 2016 - 1:03PM

    India today system has changed and this freedom fight will come Inside India and Indian cities will feel the heat soon.Recommend

  • Atheist_Pakistani
    Jul 19, 2016 - 1:38PM

    Don’t protest? They are fighting for equality and freedom.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jul 19, 2016 - 1:45PM

    @Mustafa Kashmiri:
    I would do the same if I live in India. It is a very dangerous country for someone to protest and express their thoughts.

    NO FREEDOM AT ALLRecommend

  • ajeet
    Jul 19, 2016 - 1:52PM

    Cool down cool down cool down.
    Wait until we use the open roof policy and fighter planes like your army does in KP and Baluchistan.Recommend

  • Daredevil
    Jul 19, 2016 - 4:04PM

    @Shame!: You guys should be the last on the planet to talk about intolerence. A country which bombs & hangs its own people with impunity has no moral right to point fingers at others.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 19, 2016 - 5:23PM

    Please talk facts
    Before each and every operation carried out in FATA and tribal areas enough time has been given for women, children and everyone who doesn’t want to raise arms against army to leave the area so that it could be swept for terror infrastructures and ammunitions. Then we see same people like you crying out the propaganda that their is no element of surprize for the terrorists being given. When the army demands F-16 for precision bombings, then they are again denied for covering up failures in Afghanistan.
    The only human rights violation reported so far are in Balochistan and Karachi operations regarding forced disappearances. In any case when did you ever see a large scale demonstration against the state? Or that prolonged curfew has been imposed not to mention use of deadly weapons and force against protestors armed with stones! India and Israel are true friends when it comes to oppressing and the world is just a collection of hypocrites that will ignore everything for economic relations. Might is right and unfortunately the poor Kahmiris do not count anywhere as humansRecommend

  • Mirza Asif Baig
    Jul 24, 2016 - 10:44AM

    My Friend, is in Kashmir.
    He told me what indians are doing with them.
    Cruelty at its Peak there. Recommend

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