The organization in a Press statement has criticized Indian forces for opening fire on Muharram mourners in the region.
Rights activists say time and again, Indian law enforcement’s use of shotguns in Kashmir result in shocking, grievous injuries of protesters and bystanders. They call on Indian authorities to recognize that the weapon will invariably cause indiscriminate and excessive injury in violation of international standards.
Last week Indian Forces attacked several Muharram processions in Kashmir and fired pellets and tear gas shells to disperse the mourners. Scores of mourners were injured, some face partial or total blindness. This disproportionate use of force evoked widespread condemnation across the globe.
The unabated use of pallet-firing shotguns has resulted in killing and injuries to hundreds of people over the past years. The victims are as young as 4 years. Many victims have been hit by full cartridge of pallets and have faced total blindness. Despite repeated pleas by global and local rights and civil bodies to ban pallet guns, Indian forces continue to use the weapon in brazen violation of international law and in utter disregard for human rights groups.
The United Nations High Commissioner for human rights has already banned the use of pallet guns for crowed control, calling it “one of the most dangerous weapons used in Kashmir”.
The 2020 UN guidance also discourages use of pellets. New Delhi has been justifying the use of pellet guns on the pretext that it is necessary to maintain law and order in Kashmir.
Once again the use of pellet guns in Kashmir has come under criticism with Human Rights Watch calling for immediate ban on the use of them by Indian forces. Now it remains to be seen whether the authorities would meet the demand or continue to use the weapon in violation of international law.