Jammu: Reyaz ahmad, an ATM guard was found dead on Tuesday in Chattabal area of Srinagar. According to his family, he was returning back from duty when he was killed.
The autopsy report carried out on him suggested he had multiple pellets inside his body. Though the exact circumstances of his death are yet to be known, the police has filed an FIR under the sections of murder against unknown persons. He seems to be the latest victim of the pellet guns used in the Valley and this has intensified the already raging debate on banning the use of these guns in crowd control.
Reyaz Ahmad’s dead body was found near the Government Medical College in Karan Nagar. The police had previously traced the cause of the death to injury caused by a sharp edged weapon. Even the J&K High Court has stepped in. A notice to the state and the centre government have been sent by the court asking them to file a response to a petition seeking direction to ban the use of pellet guns for crowd control in the Valley. A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magray, said the notices had to be responded to by August 17.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by the High Court Bar Association which sought direction to put an end to use of pellet guns during law and order situations. A top government source promising justice in the gruesome act said, “Those responsible for the cold -blooded murder of the youth will be identifiedand brought to justice.”
In the current unrest the valley has seen a lot of bloodshed. More than 50 people have already lost their lives while above 3000 have been injured. Among the injured is a peculiar kind, with pellet injuries to their eyes. The doctors have conducted some 100 surgeries already and say that most of these patients will not be able to regain their eye sights again.
This has lead to a severe criticism of the usage of pellet guns by the security forces. The pump action gun or the pellet gun was introduced by the security forces in 2010 when 120 people were killed during the protests. The police had kept it under the â€˜non-lethalâ€™ category of weapons. But with these gruesome stories coming to fore the activists are questioning the tag non-lethal with the gun.
As per reports, one cartridge of a pellet gun contains a few hundred pellets which are like tiny ball bearings. When the gun is fired the cartridge bursts and throws these hundreds of pellet from a single point. It is like a spray of tiny fast traveling balls which hit the target it is aimed at from various angles. The specialist doctors who have treated the patients with pellet injuries in Srinagar say that these pellets end up rupturing the pupil of the eye and the surgeries are done reconstruct each one of the layer of the inner eye. That is the reason why the doctors don’t really sound hopeful in saying whether these patients would regain their normal eye sights.
The Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his recent visit accepted that the usage of pellet guns has been a concern. He even publicly announced that the security forces were asked to minimise the use of these guns however the CRPF which is actively involved in dealing with the law and order situation has said that this was the â€˜least-lethalâ€™ weapon available with the force.