Islamabad, February 16 (KMS): Amnesty International (AI), in its letter, has urged the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to raise the matter of pellet firing shotguns as a means of policing protests in occupied Kashmir in the meeting with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, next week.

The letter has been written ahead of Justin Trudeau’s visit to India where the Canadian premier would call on Modi. The duo is expected to meet during February 19 to 23.

In the letter, the AI has also urged the Canadian Premier to work with the puppet administration of occupied Kashmir to set up independent investigations into cases of deaths or serious injuries caused by the pellet firing shotguns.

The portion from open letter of Amnesty International to the Canadian prime minister says, “Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been using pellet firing shotguns to police protests in the Kashmir valley since at least 2010. These weapons have killed, blinded and injured thousands of people. In January this year, the Jammu and Kashmir state government admitted in the state legislative assembly that 6,221 persons received pellet gun injuries, including 782 eye injuries, between July 2016 and February 2017.”

“The actual figures are likely to be even higher. 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 breadwinners for their families fear they will not be able to work any longer. Many have not regained their eyesight despite repeated surgeries. These shotguns fire a large number of small pellets spreading over a wide range. There is no way to control the trajectory or direction of the pellets, whose effects are therefore indiscriminate. By their very nature, the weapons have a high risk of causing serious and permanent injuries to the persons targeted as well as to others. These risks are virtually impossible to control. The use of pellet shotguns in Kashmir violates international standards on the use of force,” the letter added.


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