Modified pellet guns

Published at August 08, 2017 01:16 AM 0Comment(s)3500views


 Modified pellet guns

Even as the “modified version” of pellet guns has been introduced in the valley, they continue to inflict grievous injuries. ’ Two people have lost both their eyes to pellet injuries in the past one week according to media reports even as the "deflector" on the muzzle is meant to prevent the pellets from hitting above the abdomen. Even as pellet guns left thousands of youngsters with severe eye injuries and evoked international condemnation, CRPF had ruled out the discontinuation of the controversial weapon in Kashmir. CRPF men had been asked to fire the pellets aiming at the feet of the protesters as against the abdomen area. However, as the outgoing CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad himself admitted “by improvising the pellet guns, the injuries can be minimised but cannot be brought to a zero”.  In this backdrop, the continuation of pellet guns, which proved quite lethal last year, is a grave concern and the government should intervene in the matter and ensure that it’s not used again in the valley. A lot has been written about the lethality of the pellet guns which were introduced as non-lethal alternative to bullets. Various human rights bodies have voiced concern regarding use of pellet guns. According to Amnesty International, pellet guns have no place in law enforcement and should be banned immediately. After widespread outrage, the Indian government had promised to set up a panel to investigate the use of pellet guns as a method of crowd control in the region. One cartridge of a pellet gun contains a few hundred pellets which resemble ball bearings. The moment it is fired, the cartridge bursts and immediately throws hundreds of pellet from a single point. As such pellet guns are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate. They cannot ensure well-targeted shots and risk causing serious injury, including to bystanders or other protesters not engaging in violence. One cartridge of a pellet gun contains a few hundred pellets which resemble ball bearings. The moment it is fired, the cartridge bursts and immediately throws hundreds of pellet from a single point. These risks are almost impossible to control.  Mainstream and separatist leadership have always raised voice against using of pellet guns. In 2014 PDP created uproar in the assembly over use of pellet guns in South Kashmir district. Then the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had attacked the then chief minister Omar Abdullah for ‘continuing with its brute pellet gun policy to render Kashmiri youth without eyesight.’ But after coming to power the PDP has failed to stop the use of pellet guns in Kashmir.

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