Kashmir violence: India to swap use of pellet guns on protesters for chili-shells

Pellet guns have caused the death of at least four and blinded more than 100

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 26 September 2016 09:09 BST
A Kashmiri protester carries his son as he holds a placard during a protest in Srinagar
A Kashmiri protester carries his son as he holds a placard during a protest in Srinagar (Getty Images)

Coronation Street actor Marc Anwar’s “racially offensive” comments allegedly posted on Twitter has once again drawn attention to the conflict in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Mr Anwar, a Pakistani-born actor, allegedly tweeted comments about Indian people that were “unacceptable” and “racially offensive” and has been sacked from his role on the show by ITV as a result. His comments reportedly called Indian people “”b*****ds,” and “p***-drinking c***s,” and claimed the country was “still killing our Kashmir brothers and sisters”.

His comments came a week after 17 Indian soldiers were killed at an army base in Kashmir. Loud explosions were heard and several barracks caught fire in the attack that saw four commando-style men burst into the Uri brigade headquarters during the onslaught.

The Uri base sits on a de-facto border that separates the Indian and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. A further 30 soldiers were injured in the attack, around 12 of whom were left in a critical condition, before the four rebels were killed by soldiers.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and promised it would “not go unpunished,” while Pakistan’s army denied the country’s involvement, reiterating Islamabad’s stance that no infiltration is allowed from Pakistani soil.

Protests erupted in Kashmir last month leaving a number of civilians dead after the shooting of a popular militant leader. India’s home minister has said government troops will start to use chili-filled shells instead of shotgun pellets when attempting to control crowds in the region.

A wounded Kashmiri muslim lies on a hospital bed at a hospital in Srinagar, after being hit by pellets fired by Indian security forces during a protest (Getty Images)

Indian troops have reportedly killed more than 70 people and injured thousands of others in their use of live ammunition and pellet guns during clashes with rock-throwing protesters.

The use of pellet guns has caused the death of at least four people and has blinded more than 100 according to local officials and doctors in the region.

Mohammad Imran Parray, who got wounded after being hit by pellets during a protest recovers at a hospital in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir (AP)

Chili-shells, known as PAVA shells, are instead said to severely irritate and temporarily immobilise people without risking their lives.

“I understand that no one will lose their life due to the use of PAVA,” Home minister Rajnath Singh said.

Additional reporting by AP

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