European Parliament member write to PM Modi, seek ban on use of pellet guns in Kashmir, revocation of AFSPA

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Fifty members of the European parliament have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act  AFSPA and ban on the use of pellet guns in Kashmir.

“We particularly note the tragic case of 19-month old child who was gravely injured by a pellet gun (BBC report). We are concerned that The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 (PSA) give security forces virtual immunity against prosecution for any human rights violation,” the members wrote in the letter dated March 25 adding they were writing in their  capacity as elected Members of the European Parliament. 

“Therefore, we, the undersigned MEPs, urge the Indian government to immediately end the use of pellet-firing shotguns in Jammu and Kashmir and bring all relevant Indian laws into compliance with international human rights standards”. 

The members asked the Indian government to establish independent and impartial investigations into all “accidents where the use of pellet-firing shotguns led to deaths or serious injuries.”

“We, the undersigned, are writing to you to express our grave concern about the past and ongoing human rights violations against people in Kashmir, as reported in a recent OHCHR1 report,” the letter read.