Rights Body Calls Mehbooba’s Statement On Pellet Injuries ‘Blatant Lie’

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SRINAGAR: Reacting to the recent statement of the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on the pellet injuries, prominent human rights activist and head of Kashmir Rights Monitoring Centre, Mannan Bukhari, Friday said that ‘such blatant lies of the CM is an attempt to obfuscate the truth and confuse the public opinion locally and internationally.’

Mehbooba had said only six persons suffered eye injuries, with two of them losing sight in one eye each, and no person was killed or rendered blind on account of use of pellet guns by the government forces in the valley.

Bukhari, who is also the author of the book “Kashmir Scars Of Pellet Gun” said that before issuing such statements Mehbooba should at least have gone through the official figures and other relevant reports provided under RTI act by the various Hospitals and relevant institutions of the Valley.

Terming the statement as non factual, he said that pellet gun is a preferred weapon of the forces to quell the public protests or to target the bystanders and other civilians in Kashmir.

“And since its introduction this deadly weapon has created havoc and like Mudasir Ahmad Hajam, Irshad Ahmad Parray, Yasir Rafiq Sheikh and Abdul Gani Gojri there are number of victims who lost their lives to deadly pellets. Leaving aside the death, these pellets have also lead to complete vision disability among the victims like Amir Kabir Beigh, Hayat Ashraf Dar, Farooq Ahmad Malla , Muhammad Sidiq Chotta, Suhail Farooq and others.  Besides there are hundreds of victims who have lost one eye or have got partial visual disability due to these pellets fired by the law enforcing agencies,” Bukhari said.

He said on March 2013 and Feb 2014, the PDP who were then in opposition walked out of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to protest against the use of Pellet guns on protestors and even criticised the government over the use of “Harmful Weapons on Public” and sought a reply.

“The use of pellets by the security personnel while dealing with the protesters is adversely affecting People’s health. People are being injured and killed by the pellet Guns,” he said while reminding the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti had said.

He demanded ban on the use of Pellet Guns and Chilli grenades in Kashmir valley as well as compensation for the injured youth for their medical bills and treatment was demanded.

It is important to mention here that according to the latest RTI Reports released by the KRMC, official figures provided by only two hospitals of the valley, the SKIMS Bemina, through RTI Act under number SKIMS/MCH/24/2016/209-10 Dated 21/01/2016, during 2015, Two patients lost eyesight in both eyes, three patients lost eye sight in one eye and according to the SMHS Hospital under no. RTI/SMHS/7865, dated 28-12-2015, during the same period 32 patients with serious pellet gun injuries in their eyes were operated in the Department of Ophthalmology. This means that the eye sight of these 32 persons was also damaged.

Terming the use of pellet gun on humans, a crime against humanity and against the International humanitarian Law, Bukhari said that he has facts and figures about the people injured by pellet guns and the Chief Minister’s statement in the so-called Jammu Kashmir Assembly was bereft of facts and meant to mislead the international community. He said this was being done to hide the crimes committed by government forces in Jammu Kashmir and to mislead the international human rights bodies that Kashmir was not witnessing any human rights violations.

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