Feisal Naqvi in TRT World:
India first started using pellet-firing shotguns against Kashmiris in 2010 but the matter only hit international prominence in 2016 when protests following the death of Burhan Wani resulted in thousands of injuries, the blinding of hundreds and the deaths of over 70 people.
The Guardian, for example, published a story asking if Kashmir represented “the world’s first mass blinding.” Even Indians were rocked by a viral series of pictures showing the distorted faces of celebrities.
The storm of international condemnation resulted in India scaling back the use of pellet-firing shotguns but not abandoning the weapons. In August 2019, when protests erupted against the revocation of Article 370, Kashmiris were again dispersed with shotguns. Subsequently, shotgun usage subsided but that was simply because there was an unprecedented months-long lockdown in Kashmir in which people were confined to their houses. But as recent events show, India has not given up on shotguns. They remain India’s weapon of choice to deal with Kashmiris.