KARACHI: A team of Concerned Citizens Collective, an Indian human rights organisation, which visited Kashmir from Dec 12 to 16, said on Friday that the people of the Kashmir valley continued to suffer as they had been abandoned by their central and regional governments.
In a statement, it said there was no proportionality of state response as stone-pelting was met by bullets and pellet guns.
“The high proportion of injuries on the face and above the waist demonstrate that there is official intention to shower hundreds of pellets on the agitated population, not to disperse but to kill or permanently disable it,” the statement said.
This attitude of the governments, both regional and central, the team members said, was even more regrettable because a large number of the victims of bullet and pellet guns were children and many of them were so young that they could not have been part of any agitation.
They observed that there was a sense of fear among minorities, liberals and the poor in parts of India because of the same approach of the central government to its working people.
“They, therefore, stand in solidarity with all these people and demand that pellet guns should be banned forthwith,” the statement said.
They demanded that both India’s central and regional governments publicly express regret for their use of pellet guns against children and civilians.
“A number of people who met the team members asked that if the Kashmiri people are indeed equal citizens of India then why the government and its security establishment use forms and levels of state violence in the Kashmir valley that they do not use in other parts of the country?”
It said the team, comprising Tapan Bose, Harsh Mander, Pamela Philipose, Dinesh Mohan and Navsharan Kaur, met a wide range of Kashmiri population over their four-day stay in Kashmir.
“They interacted with over 150 persons, ranging from children disabled by pellets and bullets and their caregivers, youth, women, older people, working people, farmers, doctors, human rights and civil society activists, journalists, traders, writers, and villagers in Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag,” the statement said.