The High Court Bar Association Kashmir on Thursday said pellet gun has virtually proved to be a lethal weapon as is evident from the gravity of injuries caused by it during the past few days in Kashmir areas.
Addressing a press conference here, the HCBA General Secretary Bashir Siddique said of 107 pellet injury cases, 96 are at the verge of losing their eyesight forever.
"Pellets have injured hundreds of people in Kashmir in the past six days. 99 percent of people have sustained serious injuries on head, face and chest. Of 107 eye injury cases, 96 have been operated upon by doctors at SMHS hospital alone," he said, quoting an assessment made by a team of HCBA that, he said, visited various hospitals in Srinagar.
"Doctors told the team that of these 96 patients, 40 have been discharged but with instructions to come for follow ups. Doctors fear that all these patients would lose their eyesight forever," Siddiqui said.
The Bar Association slammed the government claims that pellets and bullets were "used to control crowds."
"The injuries on victims' heads, faces and chests itself is enough to show that forces have fired on protesters with the intention to kill and not to disperse them," he said.
He said patients having eye-injuries and asked by medicos to come for follow ups don't go to hospitals again "because they fear police will book them."
"Thus is the height of atrocities. First forces fire pellets and bullets on peaceful protestors and then put injured persons under constant fear and threat which results in denial of treatment to them," he said.
He said JKLF had earlier filed a PIL in High Court seeking ban on use of pellet guns. "However, the PIL was dismissed but the Court set up a one-man commission headed by Justice ML Koul to look into whether forces follow SOP while dealing with law and order situations. We are yet to see the light of that report," the HCBA said.
Condemning use of brutal force by forces and civilian killings, he said Zuhra, a three-year-old girl, was also injured by pellets.
"Was she (three year old girl) also protesting? She was hit by pellets when she was at her house holding the hand of her blind father," Siddiqui said.
He said another girl from Qamarwari has also been seriously injured by the pellets.