Imagine a mother carrying her child, sniveling with pain, soothing him, shedding tears, feeling helpless in a hospital. It is a child whom she brought up with much care, faced troubles to bring every happiness and comfort to him. Like every mother, she too has a dream for her child that one day he will become a doctor or engineer and earn respect in society. She doesn't know what fate has brought to him. Waiting outside the operation theatre, she kept on praying for her child but when the door opened it shuttered all her dreams. The doctor expressed his helplessness and tried to console her, but the news was so unsettling that she fainted at the floor. The other attendants came to rescue her and bring some water. After sometime when she returned back to her consciousness, she screamed aloud "maini ache gasha, zu ha wandai yeman cheshman". A child of just 12 or 14, with severe pellet injuries in both eyes is on the verge to lose his eye sight forever. There are similar horrified stories of pellet victims nowadays in the city hospitals.
The condition of pellet victims is so horrible that one cannot look at their wounds for a longer while. These are not just physical injuries but the trauma faced by victims perhaps carries overlong psychological complications. The wounds may vanish with the passage of time but its long standing ramifications may never let the pain end. The so called non-lethal weapon "pellet gun" created extensive damage to the lives of so many people, mostly young ones, and turned off the hopes and aspirations of many families. Ironically, after accessing the on-ground situation and witnessing the number of casualties with severe injuries on vital organs, mostly eyes, the committee framed by the Centre to find alternative crowd control measures submitted its report wherein they proposed not to ban the pellet gun but use it in rare cases which means it will continue to maim the people in Kashmir. In this current uprising in Kashmir, almost a thousand people have been hit by the pellets in their eyes; at least 45 of them have lost their eyesight partially or fully, besides, six of 70 civilians, who were killed in action by forces, have died due to severe pellet injuries in vital organs, (Greater Kashmir, Dated 2nd Sept, 2016).
On one hand, the Centre pretends to be the well wisher of Kashmiri people, saying, we grieve on every civilian death, terming the loss of lives in Kashmir during protests as loss of nation, and on the other hand, they give license to continue the use of pellet guns to maim the people including children. They say the youth should carry laptops, books and pens instead of stones, but rather than finding out the ways to replace stone with laptop, they are turning the youth blind with continuous use of pellets. It is very unfortunate that despite huge devastation wreaked by the use of pellet gun, the Centre fails to find any alternative to this fatal weapon.
As New Delhi repeatedly says "Jamooriyat", "Insaniyat" and "Kashmiriyat" but the fact appears none of these ideals are followed on the ground. If they are asking "Insaniyat", where is it; missing! Because if it is present then there should be a permanent ban on pellet gun, and efforts should be made on humanitarian grounds to calm the situation not to expand the mode of aggression towards people who are in grief. Tyrannical part is, when people raise voices against oppression, their voices are suppressed by brutal force and the worst example is the use of this weapon "pellet gun" which they called non-lethal or less-lethal. When we see the catastrophe it has created, it resembles the most fatal weapon which should be banned urgently here as it is banned elsewhere.
At this time when the entire valley is burning, efforts should be made on humanitarian grounds to calm the situation and as a first step of peace building, pellet gun should be banned.
Author is Pursuing Masters in Mass Communication & Journalism