New Delhi, April 10
In a Supreme Court hearing on the issue on the usage of pellet guns to disperse protesters in Kashmir valley, the Centre on Monday assured the apex court that using the weapon is the absolute last resort and the idea is not to kill anybody.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that they are also exploring other options like rubber bullet instead of pellet guns to disperse the crowd.
The Supreme Court was hearing the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association’s plea against the use of pellet guns in the state. The apex court asked J&K HC Bar Association to respond to various issues raised by the Centre and said the Bar has a very important role as it is neither with protesters nor with the security forces.
SC asked the Bar to think properly to respond to the issues within 2 weeks and posted the matter for hearing on April 28.
In the previous hearing, the apex court had asked the Centre to consider effective means other than use of pellet guns to quell stone-pelting mobs in Jammu and Kashmir as it concerns life and death.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association had earlier alleged that the pellet guns are being ‘misused’. The case was filed in the wake of the several lives which were lost last year’s during the unrest the broke out in Kashmir valley.
The division bench of the Supreme Court had, in December last year, admitted the petition for hearing and directed the Central Government to submit the report of the team of experts constituted on the use of pellet guns before the court.
Earlier in July 2016, the Centre constituted a team to recommend suitable replacement for the pellet guns.
A seven-member expert committee set up for exploring other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons submitted its report to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi in August. Around 78 people lost their lives and over 100 people were injured in Jammu and Kashmir last year due to firing by pellet guns.
New Delhi, April 10