Pellet guns continue to maim protesters in Kashmir as its use stays unabated, reveals RTI reply

By Raqib Hameed Naik,

Srinagar: Exposing the unabated use of pellet guns by security forces in Kashmir ,an RTI filed by a valley-based human rights activist has revealed that dozens of patients were treated for pellet injuries in year 2015 in Srinagar-based hospital.

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The number have brought back into focus the lethal use of supposedly non-lethal weapons in Kashmir, besides exposing how pellet guns are preferred weapon by the forces to quell public protests.

According to the information obtained through Right to Information Act (RTI ),from SKIMS Medical College-Hospital Bemina, Srinagar, under number SKIMS/MCH/24/2016/209-10 Dated 21/01/2016 which came to be issued by the Dy. Medical Superintendent (PIO) in response to RTI application filed by Mannan Bukhari, the head of Kashmir Rights Monitoring Center, 16 patients were treated in 2015 for pellet injuries.

Nine patients with pellet injuries were admitted in the eye ward of the hospital between January 2015 and 31 December 2015.

Out of nine patients admitted and treated in the Ophthalmology Department of the Hospital, two patients lost eyesight in both eyes, three patients lost eye sight in one eye and one patient recovered partial eye sight.

According to another RTI reply issued by the Public Information Officer, SMHS Hospital, Srinagar, under NO. RTI/SMHS/7865, dated 28-12-2015, the medical Record Department of the Hospital reveals that 48 patients with pellet injuries were treated in the Emergency Department from October 2014 to November 2015 while 42 of them were admitted in the Hospital.

The Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Srinagar in its response reveals that 38 pellet injury patients were admitted in this department from October 2014 to November 2015. And 32 patients with pellet gun injuries required an operative procedure in this department.

“During the year 2015, a number of youth hit by pellets evaded treatment in Valley Hospitals to escape arrests and persecution by Police but still serious pellet injuries to more than 45 persons were reported. Out of these forty five pellet victims 42 persons became victim of pellet fires during the coalition government headed by PDP,” Mannan Bukhari told

“It has proved that the government forces have mastered the art of making Kashmiri youth maim and blind them through “non lethal” means. But the inhumane approach adopted by the state to silence the genuine voice of the masses and to quell the civilian protests depicts the military mindset of the Indian state while dealing in Kashmir but such oppressive systems can kill individuals and incarcerate them but they cannot mute the voices of dissent forever,” he added.