Sunday, 16 January 2022

UN chief urges India to end using pellet guns against children in Kashmir

LONDON: The UN chief called on New Delhi to immediately end such practices in the annual report on Children and Armed Conflict launched by Special Representative Virginia Gamba.

“I am concerned by the detention of children, including their arrest during night raids, internment at army camps, torture in detention and detention without charge or due process, and urge the (Indian) Government to immediately end this practice,” the secretary-general said.

India’s interior minister said in 2016 that the pellet guns are used as a last resort but refused to stop deploying it for crowd control.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Indian paramilitary deployed in Kashmir, told a court in 2016 that they fired about 1.3 million pellets in just 32 days.

Amnesty International has urged the Indian government to ban the use of pellet guns, and lawyers and other rights groups have appealed to courts, to little avail so far.

US-based Physicians for Human Rights has called their use “inherently inaccurate (and) indiscriminate”, and potentially “lethal to humans at close range”.

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