As Govt justifies pellets, 9 youth killed so far; 3 deaths in last 4 days

While the State Government justified use of pellet guns as “non-lethal” and “modern crowd control tool” in the High Court recently, at least nine youth have lost their lives to the deadly pellets in past 64 days of uprising in Kashmir.
As Govt justifies pellets, 9 youth killed so far; 3 deaths in last 4 days
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While the State Government justified use of pellet guns as "non-lethal" and "modern crowd control tool" in the High Court recently, at least nine youth have lost their lives to the deadly pellets in past 64 days of uprising in Kashmir.

23-year-old Yawar Ahmad of Botengoo in south Kashmir became the latest victim of the pellets on Saturday. "He had pellet injuries in his chest and abdomen," Medical Superintendent District Hospital Anantnag told Greater Kashmir.

In past less than a week three youth have in fact fallen to the pellets – small metallic balls fired from pump shotguns with high velocity.

On September 6, 20-year old Naseer Ahmad, a graduate from South Kashmir's Seer Hamdan area, died after forces fired pellets at him.

"The pellets had pierced his heart," said a doctor at Sub-district hospital Seer.

Less than 24 hours before Naseer's killing, pellets claimed life of a young boy from north Kashmir.

According to doctors at SMHS hospital here, pellets had severely damaged the brain of 12th class student Musaib Majeed Nagoo from Sonawani village in North Kashmir's Kupwara district.

"Dozens of pellets had pierced his head. His brain matter was coming out when we admitted him here," said a senior doctor at the SMHS.

The teenager student was admitted in ICU for two days before he succumbed to fatal injuries on Monday night.

On September 6, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti-led Government defended the use of pellet guns as "modern method to deal with crowd, particularly agitating mobs…" in the High Court.

"It is the constitutional and legal duty of the state to maintain law and order. As to what method is required to be given effect in order to control law and order has to be left to the state," the Government told the Court.

Last month 19-year old Amir Gul Mir from Pinglin Pulwama lost his life after pellets pierced his lungs and heart.

"He had a major intra-thoracic injury and pericardial effusion. His airways were leaking and a major vessel was perforated too," a doctor said. Amir too was a class 12th student.

Earlier, at least five youth, as per hospital records and reports, lost their lives to pellet injuries. While three of these youth had pellet injuries in brain, the other two persons had pellets injuring to vital organs.

One of these five youth was 23-year old Riyaz Ahmad Shah from Chattabal here who was working as security guard for J&K Bank ATM.

As per preliminary autopsy report Shah's left kidney had borne the brunt as pellets, hundreds of them, had pierced it and then dispersed inside the body causing injuries to liver, spleen, intestines and lungs.

On August 15, 18-year old student Ishfaq Ahmad, who had suffered critical pellet injuries at Badipora Tangmarg, succumbed after battling for life in Intensive Care Unit of SKIMS. According to doctors the pellets had "severely damaged his brain." On August 2, Aamir Lone of Sedow Shopian succumbed at SKIMS after he was hit by pellets in his head and brain.

On July 10, 25-year-old Altaf Ahmed from Rajpora Pulwama died at SMHS Hospital after receiving multiple pellet injuries in his chest. "He had cardiac temponade (fluid in the sac in which heart is enclosed) caused by the holes that pellets had made in his heart," a doctor had said.

On July 9, a youth aged 20 was brought to SMHS hospital with severe pellet injuries in his head with his "brain shattered" by the pellets.

The victim, according to a doctor, was seen vide Card No. 40248 but his name was not recorded as he was brought to the hospital by a group of people who did not know him.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had last month announced to replace pellet guns with other "non-lethal weapons" on the recommendations of a committee that was constituted to suggest the options.

While the committee cleared use of chilli-filled PAVA shells, the use of the pellet guns have continued in Kashmir even as the forces have started to use the PAVA shells.

Doctors have contested the argument about non-lethality of pellets saying that in many cases most people hit by pellets suffer serious injuries.

"A pellet is like mini-bullet and because its path is unpredictable it becomes more dangerous," a surgeon said.

Apart from killings, the pellets have maimed many youth during the ongoing uprising in Kashmir post the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.

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