KNO - kashmir News Observer Evening Bulletin | KNO

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KNO - kashmir News Observer Evening Bulletin | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

News Desk

Amnesty International asks authorities to ban use of pellet guns

Srinagar, Sep 13 : Amnesty International India that organized a one day symposium in Kashmir capital Srinagar on Wednesday asked India to prohibit pellet firing shotguns immediately in Kashmir Valley.

     During the symposium a book on pellet victims was also released.

     Amnesty International India said that Pellet-firing shotguns, which have been responsible for blinding, killing and traumatizing hundreds of people in Kashmir, must be immediately banned.

     In its new briefing, “Losing Sight in Kashmir: The Impact of Pellet-Firing Shotguns” it reiterated that pellet shotguns should be banned completely.

      The briefing presents the cases of 88 people whose eyesight was damaged by metal pellets fired from pump-action shotguns used by the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force between 2014 and 2017.

      Executive Director at Amnesty International India, Mr Aakar Patel said that: “in his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that change in Kashmir will not come from guns and abuses. If the government truly means this, they must end the use of pellet-firing shotguns which have caused immense suffering in Kashmir.”

     Authorities claim that pellet shotgun is not lethal, but the injuries and deaths caused by this cruel weapon bear testimony to how dangerous, inaccurate and indiscriminate it is. There is no proper way to use pellet firing shotguns. It is irresponsible for authorities to continue the use of this weapon despite being aware of the damage they cause,” Patel said.

     He said people injured by pellet-firing shotguns have faced serious physical and mental health issues, including symptoms of psychological trauma. “School and University students who were hit in the eyes said that they continue to have learning difficulties. Several victims who were the primary bread winners for their families fear they will not be able to work any longer. Many have not regained their eye-sight despite repeated surgeries,” Patel said.

      Senior Campaigner Zahoor Wani said that in some cases, those injured by pellet-firing shotguns still have the metal pellets lodged in their skulls, near their eyes. “Doctors have been afraid to remove the pellets, fearing that it will affect eyesight, but they are not sure what the long term effects will be,” Wani said.

     “Unfortunately, the Central Government has turned down requests for information about pellet shotguns, it is unclear if the shotguns have been properly tested, or their effects and risks assessed, or whether there is even any protocol about how they must be used. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has done little to support those injured and disabled by this weapon,” he said.

     Amnesty International India also obtained information through Right to Information applications which suggests that the use of the inherently inaccurate pellet-firing shotguns by security forces has injured other security force personnel. At least 16 personnel from Jammu Kashmir Armed police were treated for pellet injuries in Kupwara in 2016. Amnesty International wrote to the JKP and CRPF for further information, but no responses were received.

    “Authorities have a duty to maintain public order, but using pellet shotguns is not the solution,” said Aakar Patel. “Security Forces must address stone-throwing or other violence by protesters by means that allow for better targeting or more control over the harm caused,” he said.

   “Amnesty International India calls on the central government and government of Jammu and Kashmir to immediately stop the use of pellet-firing shotguns and ensure that the use of all other weapons is in line with international human rights standards on use of force. Authorities should also provide full reparation in line with international standards to those injured by pellet-firing shotguns and to the families of those killed.”

     “The government of Jammu and Kashmir should also initiate prompt, independent and impartial civilians investigations into all incidents where the use of pellet-firing shotguns led to deaths or injuries to establish whether arbitrary or excessive force was used, and where sufficient evidence is found, prosecute those suspected or responsibility in civilians courts.”  


Police arrests wanted Over Ground Workers in Baramulla

Baramulla, Sep 13 : Police in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday claimed to have arrested an over-ground worker who they said was wanted for motivating young boys to join Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit.

A police spokesman said that Ishtiaq Ahmed Wani, son of Farooq Ahmed Wani, resident of Goushbugh Pattan who was at large and wanted for “motivating and instigating young boys of Pattan and Palhallan areas to join Hizb ul Mujahideen outfit.”

He said that controllers of Hizb were trying to accelerate the recruitment process in the area “as most of the militants active in north Kashmir have been killed due to continuous pressure/ encounters by police and other security agencies”.

He said that a case under FIR No 165 /2017 under sections of 13 Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and sec 506 RPC has been registered at Police Station Pattan and investigation has been taken up.

The spokesman said that police in Baramulla recently “saved around 10 boys meant to be inducted in militant ranks from the clutches of militants and were handed over to parents. Out of these, four boys were motivated by the subject to join militant ranks of HM outfit.” 


Let India and Pakistan focus on dividends of peace rather those of confrontation: Er Rasheed

Anantnag, Sep 13 :  Asking India and Pakistan to stop using sacrifices and sufferings of Kashmiris for their political objectives, AIP Chief and MLA Langate Er. Rasheed has urged the two countries to concentrate on dividends of peace rather those of animosity.

    While interacting with people from different walks of life in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Er. Rasheed said that the blame game and leveling changes against each other at United Nations will take them nowhere and for the welfare of the people of sub-continent may need to resolve Kashmir dispute through principals of justice and in light of historic perspective.

    “New Delhi should not forget the words of its own PM Narinder Modi on 15th Aug. claiming to embarrass Kashmiris, but his words need to be matched with actions on the ground. While after his speech many innocents lost their lives, Nasrullah Khan of Devar Lolab is yet fighting for his life and his another colleague Manzoor Ahmad Khan is missing in the custody of security forces. The actions at the ground are enough to believe that New Delhi believes in denying  justice when it comes to Kashmiris and often wastes no time in using every rumor and opportunity to humiliate and disgrace them. With Eight lakh soldiers deployed in Kashmir and armed with all draconian laws, New Delhi can never claim to be like a saint but must admit its huge guilt and ensure some justice to people of Jammu & Kashmir,” he said.

     Engineer Rasheed said that It will be in New Delhi’s own interests to come out of its confusions and agree to resolving Kashmir dispute by respecting sacrifices, sentiments and aspirations of Kashmiri people besides fulfilling commitments made at national and international forums.

   Er. Rasheed also welcomed UN Human Rights Commissioner Zaid Raad al Hussain’s appeal to allow fact finding teams to both sides of Kashmir to take stock of grave human rights violations and said that if both countries treat J&K beyond a peace of land they must allow international organizations to visit the area.