Use of pellet guns for crowd control in Kashmir: How lethal is “non-lethal”?

Siddarth David

Abstract

The use of pellet guns during the recent unrest in Kashmir as a method of crowd control has been questioned because of several deaths and numerous injuries. Across the world, these rubber pellets have been shown to inflict serious injuries, permanent disability, and death. The volatility of mob violence, inaccuracies in aim of the pellets, over-use of the pellet guns, and the perception of their harmlessness enhances the destructive potential of these so-called non-lethal weapons. There is also the larger ethical question whether any form of pain, however minimal, could be inflicted to control violent crowds.

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