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Security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir have moved to the use of "pellet guns" - a kind of shotgun - to quell anti-India protests. The army says they are non-lethal but these guns have caused serious injuries to protesters (including blinding them) and others, including children, and sometimes even killed them

There's something very important that I want to convey. The Indian
security forces are NOT using pellet guns; they are using 12 GAUGE
SHOTGUNS (which fire cartridges containing pellets) normally used for
This is based on the following youtube video describing "pellet guns"

As the video states, the "pellet guns" used in Kashmir, by Indian
security forces are actually 12 gauge pump-action shotguns, the
magazine holds 4 cartridges ( naturally plus 1 in the chamber)
The video further states that each cartridge holds 600 pellets. It is
essentially what is known as "birdshot" in the hunting world.
To get an idea about the common types of pellets and how they are
packed inside shotgun shells, please click on the following link

To get an idea, a typical #7 cartridge for a 12 gauge bore has 450
pellets (generally lead) This ammo is used for hunting wild birds.
( It is important to note that since lead is heavier than steel, lead
pellets are lesser in number than steel pellets inside a shotgun shell
of a specific configuration and if someone could confirm the size and
the metal composition of the pellets, it would be much easier to
narrow down on 1. the type of ammo used and 2. if the Indian forces
are changing the ammo strength from time to time for whatever reason.)

The following link has specific details on the aforementioned. Notice
the difference in pellet count as the pellet composition changes from
lead to steel.

The following link has a chart that shows the details of the number of
pellets per shot corresponding to the shot size and what I have stated
is actually understating the lethality of the ammunition used.

I spoke with two colleagues of mine; both hunters and showed them the
videos of these guns used in Kashmir. Both said that the weapons in
question are indeed shotguns, which at close range are lethal.
Moreover, the muzzle velocity of the pellets is stated as 1100 kmph in
the video (which translates to 1,002.4789 Feet per Second), which
leaves no doubt that these are not altered cartridges/ shots (with
less gunpowder, as hunters sometimes take some powder out depending on
what they are hunting and at what range)

We need to call it what it is: A 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN.
( The reloading mechanism can be pump action, lever action or bolt action and that makes no difference to the lethality of the ammunition being fired)
Because of the fact that shotgun ammunition can be altered for its
lethality, it is hard to prove how much power the shotgun shells that
the Indian security forces use have AFTER they have been fired.
(Because an empty shell, if one is lucky enough to find one, will
essentially be empty. Maybe that is why the Indian security forces are
using this type of weapon for crowd control; if accused of using more
potent (and lethal) shot, they can simply say that "the protestors
were charging at us and so got hit by the pellets at close range"
It is very clever of the Indians to call it a pellet gun because the
injuries are caused by pellets after all. Last but not least, lead is
a poisonous metal (as we all know) and there are bound to be long term
health issues with the pellets that cannot be removed quickly enough,
or not at all.