PELLET GUNS in India-held Kashmir kill, blind and enrage. India introduced officially ''non-lethal'' 12-gauge pellet shotgun in occupied valley in 2010 when major anti-India protests and clashes with governments forces left over 100 dead.

SRINAGAR : Doctors are fighting to save the right eye of Hiba Jan, the 20th month old who had become an emblem of India's devastating and highly contentious use of pellet-firing shotguns in occupied Kashmir.

India began deploying, the pump action guns, which spew 600 metal shards at high velocity at a time, in Held Kashmir in 2010, since then killing dozens and maiming thousands.

As her husband sobbed, Hiba Jan's mother Marsala said they were shot at while trying to escape from clouds of tear gas during disturbances. Troops were trying to push back thousands of villagers protesting after the deaths of six suspected militants.and a civilian in a fierce firefight.that also killed one soldier.

Violence in Held Kashmir since 1947 has killed thousands. This year has been the bloodiest in nearly a decade with at least 530 dead so far.

India has about 500,000 soldiers in the part it occupies, where armed groups are fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan [Agencies]


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