After reports emerged that the use of pellet guns on protesters in Jammu and Kashmir injured many people, a website called ‘Never Forget Pakistan’ has posted some hard-hitting images of celebrities on Facebook, which have been photoshopped to show what they would look like if their faces had been injured by pellet guns.
Some of the celebrities whose faces have been used in the pictures posted by the website on Facebook include Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Mark Zuckerberg, Virat Kohli, Hrithik Roshan, Kajol, Saif Ali Khan, Alia Bhatt, Aishwarya Rai, and even politicians like Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“You know these faces. Does that make the tragedies more important? The stories in the letters are real. The names signed under the letter are real. Just the victim you see in the picture is not real. But do you care what is the profile of the victim for you to sympathise and empathise with them?” asks the Facebook post.
The text in each of the photos is meant to describe the alleged atrocities which Kashmiris have faced in the protests that have rocked the Valley since 7 July when Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by security forces.
While some describe a Kashmiri being shot in the left eye while coming back from cricket practice, others describe how 40 pellets still remain in the body of a victim. All posts criticise the use of the “non-lethal” pellet guns in Kashmir.
The post also says that this campaign is meant to focus on the alleged human rights violations and abuses by the “Indian Armed forces and Police”. According to the post, they enjoy complete immunity under the Armed Forces.
Scores have been blinded, several killed and hundreds injured by what India describes as a “non-lethal” weapon i.e. the pellet gun. We condemn and lament the criminal silence and inaction of the Indian Government and Cultural icons of India,” says the post.
The website ‘Never Forget Pakistan’ describes itself as a “collective of concerned citizens belonging to various walks of life such as law, journalism and media etc who have come together for the advancement of the counter narrative to extremism and terrorism in Pakistan”.
Just a few days ago, the Jammu and Kashmir high court had pulled up the state government for the use of pellet guns on protesters.
More than 350 people in Kashmir have suffered pellet injuries and many of them have been wounded in their eyes amid fears that they may be partially or completely blinded for their life.
The use of pellet guns against stone-throwing protesters has sparked international condemnation, with Amnesty International asking the government to prohibit the use of these shotguns at street demonstrators.
The issue of the use of pellet guns in Kashmir has also been analysed by Firstpost. While Prakash Katoch’s article says that it is naive to assume that security personnel can carry on in Kashmir without pellet guns, Ishfaq Naseem’s article questions the use of these weapons which can blind a person forever.