the use of Pellet Guns in Kashmir Valley.

Posted by Karan Anand
April 22, 2017


Following the death of 21-year- old Hizbul Mujahideen leader, Burhan Wani, on 8 th July last

year, the valley has been in its worst phase of violence since 2010. The use of the so called

“non-lethal” weapons, which include pellet guns have caused unprecedented damage to the

Kashmiri youth, killing 96 people and injuring hundreds more in the past one year.

First introduced in 2010, these guns have several hundreds of small lead pellets, which

when shot, spread in different directions and ascend towards the protestor. Writing for the

“Frontline”, A.G Noorani labelled the Indian Government as ‘hypocrite’ and questioned why

the pellet guns are only being used in Kashmir, when more violent protests in Chennai this

year and Haryana last year, didn’t witness their use.

They cannot ensure well-targeted shots and risk causing serious injury, including to

bystanders”- Zahoor Wani, a senior campaigner for Amnesty international.

Insha Malik, a 14 year old girl, victim of the pellet guns. She has lost her eyesight.

 Riyad Ahmad Shah, an ATM guard, while returning from his duty was killed and the doctors found 300

pellets in his abdomen. According to leading Srinagar hospitals, an estimated 1130

Kashmiri’s, most being young and teenagers have fallen victims to these guns. J&K Pellet

Victims Association, a first of its kind, has been formed to demand justice.


 They ask why guns meant for animals are being used on the people of Kashmir. The rubber pellet guns used by  UN peace keeping forces are a much saner option.

With the rising atrocities committed of the Indian Army in Kashmir, there has been a

growing resentment against the government. Talking to the “The Caravan”, a Kashmiri

driver says, ‘These blinded youth are going to be the living memorials, reminding people in

their families and localities, as long as they live, of the brutality of the Indian state’. He

continues, ‘Hindustan bolta hai ki Kashmir uska atoot ang hai, lekin us ang pe kabhi dard nhi

hota hai’. The youth, which is infuriated, has come out in numbers, to protest against the

authorities. . The ‘Pro-azadi’ sentiment has risen significantly, which was evident when

20,000 people showed up at Burhan Wani’s funeral. A report by The Indian Express, tells

that 26 militants were killed in the month of February this year, which is double as

compared to the previous three years, which shows the rise in the number of militants in

the past one year. Also with the abysmal voter turnout(7%) in the recently conducted by-polls in parts of Kashmir, we can see a complete boycott of democracy and the pro-azaadi sentiment on rise.

Central government had formed a committee to review the use of the pellet gun, it

ultimately decided not to ban it. Though deflectors will now be introduced, which will

increase the accuracy from 40% to 90%. SC, in march 2017 has ordered that pellet guns can only be used in extreme and the most rare cases, bringing some plight to the

people of Kashmir. CM Mehbooba Mufti has announced Government jobs for the victims, but PM Modi maintains a firm stand against the protestors and the use

of pellet guns, which is a Human Rights Violation, according to The Citizen.

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