December 2016 News
Rights Panel Seeks Report On People Blinded By Pellets During Kashmir Unrest26 December 2016
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Monday directed all deputy commissioners (DCs) to submit reports about those blinded during the unrest in the Kashmir, which began on July 8, after the killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter. 'Taking suo-moto cognizance of a report published in a section of the press, chairperson SHRC, Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki directed the deputy commissioners of all the 10 districts of Kashmir to submit a detailed report of all the victims who have sustained eye injuries during the recent disturbances in the valley,' an official spokesperson said in Srinagar. The government press release said: 'SHRC chairman has directed the DCs to include details of victims, date and place of injury, extent of injury, treatment given and compensation paid if any to them. He has asked for the report containing the requisite information to be submitted to the commission by or before 3 February 2017.' The SHRC has further said in the statement that people or the victims themselves may also approach the commission. The use of the controversial pellet guns as a 'non-lethal' weapon of mob control has been criticised for its use in during Kashmir protests. Hospital data has shown that the eyes of more than 1,000 people were pierced by pellets in the ongoing unrest, leading to either complete or partial blindness. Despite calls by opposition parties and rights groups to ban the use of pellet guns, the government has refused to do so. In a recent address to newly-recruited policemen, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had appealed to the personnel to restrain using pellet guns till an alternative is not introduced. 'If there is an attack on your camp or police station, then I understand, but if someone throws stones at you, you should try to restrain yourselves till we find an alternative to pellet guns and ban them completely,' she had said.