August 11th, 2016
Ophthalmologist, Dr. Bashir Ahmed, speaks with KashmirUnheard against the use of pellet guns by the armed forces to quell protests among civilians of the Kashmir valley.
A retina is a very sensitive tissue; even a little scar on the retina can impair vision. Once eyes are damaged by these pellet bullets, no operation in the world can restore proper vision ever again,” Dr. Ahmed tells a KashmirUnheard correspondent.
The weapon claimed ‘non-lethal’ by the armed forces, has so far claimed at least three lives and left over 300 civilians blinded in the ongoing protests in Kashmir Valley since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. Dr. Ahmed has operated on scores of patients who have been injured by pellet guns.
Dr. Ahmed and his fellow doctors recently took on to the streets of Srinagar to appeal to the State “We have no war slogans. Our only slogan is STOP USE OF PELLET GUNS,” he says.
What are Pellets?
Pellets are lead balls that resemble small iron ball-bearings. Each cartridge shot from a 12-guage pump-action sprays 300-400 pellets at a high velocity. They don’t follow a definite path.
Pellet Bullets are deemed non-lethal by the Indian Government, however, the above testimony and scores of testimonies by experts prove otherwise. Despite the fact that pellet guns are routinely used to control crowds in Kashmir, it has come to light that pellet guns are not on the list of ten non-lethal weapons suggested by the Bureau of Police Research and Development in its standard operating procedure for tackling violence.
We appeal to the State to stop the use of Pellet Guns.