Indian authorities call the shotgun shells filled with hundreds of small metal pellets a “non-lethal” weapon for crowd control, but that does not make them harmless. They’ve inflicted a permanent toll on hundreds of Kashmiris hit by them.Their faces are scarred. Their eyes are damaged or simply gone, replaced with prosthetics. And their psychological wounds run deeper still.”What I miss most is being able to read the holy Quran,” says Firdous Ahmad Dar, 25, a Kashmiri man who lost vision in both eyes after being shot with the pellets during an anti-India protest in the troubled Himalayan region.
Welcome to my home, where my identity is always in question from men in camouflage who have come from planes in hundreds of thousands. The barbed wires guarded by Indian armed forces come with frequent questioning. Since Burhan Muzaffar Wani died during a brief gunfight in South Kashmir, the undercurrents of resistance have gripped the mountains and the vales of this Himalayan region. Speak to people and pat comes the reply: “This time, the mood of the people is different as compared to the uprisings of 2008 and 2010.”
Indian photographer Ronny Sen is awarded the second annual Getty Images Instagram grant for his work on a coal town in India where underground fires have burned for more than 100 years.
“The underground fire in Jharia has been burning for more than a hundred years now. People who inhabit that space have seen this since they were born. So they are totally aware of it and it’s very much a part of their life,” he says.
“Many villages which were once thriving with life don’t exist anymore. They have simply vanished. While some people have left these areas and shifted elsewhere for better jobs and opportunities in other cities, there is a big population which calls Jharia home and keeps on shifting along the blasting mines.”