ISLAMABAD, Oct 27 (APP): By using illegal weapons and pellet guns, torturing in custody, molesting women and killing youth by Indian occupational forces in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Modi regime has resorted to unending cruelties against Kashmiri people.
But, despite use of lethal and inhuman dirty tactics, no colonial power in the world could crush freedom struggle of the suppressed people as witnessed in IIOJK where even use of lethal weapons and pellet guns could shatter the courage of people struggling for right to self-determination.
The use of pellet guns by Indian occupation forces in Jammu and Kashmir is a continued and clear violation of human rights and humanitarian law.
The Indian government and puppet administration of IIOJK must direct Indian Army and police to immediately stop using pellet guns as any further use of such weapons, causing extensive, arbitrary deaths and grievous wounds, would be callous and criminal.
The indiscriminate use of pellet guns since July 09, 2016, against the protesting people in the aftermath of martyrdom of Kashmiri youth icon Burhan Wani, had killed dozens of civilians with hundreds wounded with scars on their faces and in many cases losing their eye sight.
Stone pelting does not give police the right to shoot at peaceful protestors indiscriminately as force is only used when the mob goes unruly endangering other people’s lives. But, in case when people march around peacefully for a just right, showering pellets on them is brutal as well as inhumane.
The force is only used when it is unavoidable and proportionate to the crowd’s actions. Proportionality, necessity and calibration are key principles governing the use of force within national and international law. But, Indian occupational forces, know no law – national or international or mercy when it deals with innocent Kashmiris.
Pellet guns were first introduced in Kashmir in 2010 for crowd control as a “non-lethal” alternative to other deadlier weapons. Nevertheless, in 2010, 14-year-old Irshad Ahmad Parray and 20-year-old Mudasir Nazir lost their lives to pellet gun injuries.
These boys were two of several victims who have been killed by pellet guns since 2010, yet these guns are considered the better option, a “non-lethal” choice to control crowds. It is reported that at least 92 people have lost their eyesight and at least 1,500 people have sustained serious injuries from pellet guns since 2010.
The Indian government led by fascist Modi is violating the UN Basic Principles on Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.
In Kashmir, restraint is not being exercised, injury is not being minimized and medical assistance is not ensured. The use of Pellet guns is not a proportional response to current protests as far too much harm has been inflicted, particularly involving people’s eyesight, far too many bystanders, including children, have been injured and medical assistance comes only at the risk of being arrested and prosecuted.
When the police are involved in crowd control efforts, they must distinguish between violent protestors, peaceful protestors and bystanders. The pellet guns are used indiscriminately and even the inspector general of the Jammu and Kashmir police acknowledged that pellets do not have a predictable trajectory.
Since, the basic principles require that, “in cases of death and serious injury or other grave consequences, a detailed report shall be sent promptly to competent authorities,” but in case of IIOJK, instead of investigating these injuries, police personnel attack ambulances and search hospitals to make arrests.
Even the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has warned that “use of pellet guns by the government forces was a serious threat to life”.
The SHRC declared that the petitions submitted regarding ten people who received serious bodily injury from pellet guns made out a prima facie case of a human rights violation. The commission also reminded law enforcement agencies that they must follow standard operating procedures of minimum use of force.
Article 3 of the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials states, “law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and in general, firearms should not be used except when a suspected offender offers armed resistance or otherwise jeopardizes the lives of others”.
The use of pellet guns as a crowd control tactic is deemed to be too lethal and inhuman but it goes on unchecked in IIOJK to the utter neglect of international community.
The so called champions of human rights across the world have been putting a deaf ear to Indian forces atrocities against innocent Kashmiri people. And this saga goes on decades after decades without any respite to the people and no one is ready to hear their demands whatever the reasons.
The use of pellet guns in Kashmir in reaction to the peaceful protests is a clear violation of human rights and humanitarian law. These weapons have neither been used proportionally nor in compliance with international standards.
Therefore, world powers should press India to immediately stop use of such lethal weapons on freedom-loving Kashmiri protestors who have been demanding their right to self-determination and freeing them from Indian yoke.
APP/abs/maz (APP Feature Service)