Children with mock wounds stage demo in PaK against use of pellet guns in Kashmir
Young Kashmiri boys and girls with mock wounds staged an impressive demonstration here on Wednesday to draw attention towards "unrelenting atrocities" and curfew in Kashmir in general and use of lethal pellet guns in particular, which have injured and blinded thousands of people, most of them the teenagers.
The demonstration coincided with Indian home minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Islamabad for a regional conference, and many of the placards held by the participants were inscribed with slogans condemning him for the brutishness in Kashmir.
"Go Rajnath go back… You are killer of innocent Kashmiris," read a placard.
The demonstrators, who had either their eyes or foreheads bandaged, first paraded through the main road, with many of them holding walking sticks, and then formed a circle on Azadi Chowk, a roundabout outside press club, behind the pictorial banners, depicting the "savagery of Indian troops."
While condemning the indifference to the United Nations, OIC and global human rights watchdogs, demonstrators warned that if the world community did not rise to the situation, "Kashmir would explode like a volcano."
"Use of pellet guns is a war crime and should be immediately stopped in Kashmir… Why the international community is not taking stock of this cruelty," said Chaudhry Abdul Waheed, a ninth grade student in a refugee camp.
Nearby sixth grade student Maira Nisar, who was wearing black glasses due to a mock eye wound, said the troops who were using such weapons should be tried for war crimes.
"Indian government is doing this under a well-worked plan to maim and blind the new generation in Kashmir in a failed attempt to quell the popular freedom movement," said Aimal Farzam, also a ninth grade student.
Uzair Ghazali, whose organisation – Pasban-e-Hurriyat – was one of the organisers of the event, said the loss caused by the use of pellet guns was colossal and should no more go unnoticed.
"With both bullets and pellets they have killed over 75 persons in the past three weeks. Thousands others have been injured, including many who have partially or fully lost their eyesight," he said.
Ghazali said Pakistan should not only sever diplomatic relations with India but also take effective steps to highlight "India's bloodthirstiness in Kashmir."
According to experts, around 400-500 tiny iron balls from one shot from a pellet gun scatter in the air, hitting everyone and everything in range. Since the targets are the unarmed demonstrators, the pellets penetrate into their bodies from several parts like abdomen, eyes, intestines, legs, back, or head, and cause severe damage.