Demanding an immediate ban on the use of pellet guns in Kashmir, Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday stated that the position of the state authorities that pellet guns are a non lethal weapon is a blatant lie. He said that till date dozens have died, while around hundred persons have lost their eyes while scores have become handicapped.
According to a statement, while addressing a gathering at historic Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz stated it is highly unfortunate and condemnable that the police and paramilitary forces are deliberately firing pellets into the eyes of people to inflict maximum damage. Even as the Hurriyat is involved in a legal process to push for the ban on pellet guns, Mirwaiz appealed to the international human rights organizations to come forward on this issue and play their part in this regard.
Mirwaiz said it is regrettable that the only standard response to people’s aspirations and sentiments is repression, force and curbs by the government. Time and again, through the exhibition of power, the state betrays the fundamental principles of democracy, which it claims to represent and uphold. The government needs to understand that the people of Kashmir have internalized the sacrifices rendered by the martyrs and their memory remains etched in the collective consciousness of this nation and no amount of force can alter that.
Demanding an immediate withdrawal of forces from Tosa Maidan, Mirwaiz expressed his grief over the recent death of a girl who died as a result of unexploded shells. He said that during military exercises several shells remain unexploded which later becomes the cause of death and injuries. He demanded that the process of demilitarization should be started from Tosa Maidan itself. Mirwaiz later visited SMHS hospital to see the condition of Suhail Ahmad and Ghulam Rasool, who recently received injuries in their eyes by pellets. Later, APHC Chairman visited the house of Faheem Asghar at Nowpora. While condoling with the family, he stated that an impartial probe should be held to know the cause of his actual death.