Pellet guns used by cops in Jammu and Kashmir has injured 1725 people since July 2016: Government
According to the official data, which is based on reports submitted by the deputy commissioners of eight out of 10 districts in Kashmir, 1,725 people had sustained pellet injuries since July 2016.
SRINAGAR: The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has admitted that more than 1,725 people suffered pellet injuries in firing by security forces during the extended period of unrest in the Valley last year following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. The government has presented a report to the State Human Rights Commission about the pellet injuries sustained by people when Kashmir witnessed continuous curfew for nearly two months and shutdown for about four months.
According to the official data, which is based on reports submitted by the deputy commissioners of eight out of 10 districts in Kashmir, 1,725 people had sustained pellet injuries since the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.
The report reveals that a majority of the pellet injuries had taken place in north Kashmir comprising Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara districts while south Kashmir, which was the epicenter of the unrest, accounted for 261 pellet injuries. As per the report, 440 pellet injuries were reported from the sensitive apple town of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district during the unrest. It further reveals that 812 people sustained pellet injuries in security forces firing in other parts of the Baramulla district.
Most of the victims suffered eye injuries and at least six people lost vision in both the eyes in Baramulla district. Others had sustained pellet injuries in the lungs, arms, eyelids, legs, face, chest, head and shoulders.
As per the official data, 154 people had sustained pellet injuries in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. In Shopian district of south Kashmir, 51 people were hit by pellets. Among the pellet victims in Shopian was a 14-year-old girl Insha Malik, a Class VIII student. The girl, who had sustained pellet injuries near the window of her kitchen, lost vision in both the eyes.
In the twin south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Anantnag, 47 and nine people had sustained pellet injuries respectively. All the four districts of south Kashmir were the epicenter of the unrest last year. Burhan Wani hailed from Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. According to the report, 137 people were hit by pellets in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district and 27 in Srinagar.
The official report doesn’t specify the number of pellet victims in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and north Kashmir’s Bandipora district as both the deputy commissioners had not submitted the report. After large scale injuries due to use of pellet guns by security forces, mainstream parties, separatists, traders and civil society groups had demanded a ban on use of pellet guns in the Valley. Home minister Rajnath Singh had urged security forces to avoid use of the pellet guns.