Greater Kashmir report
The Kashmir Bar Association pleaded last week that rights of pellet victims can’t be ignored and excessive use of pellets violates Article 21 (Right to life) of the Constitution.
Pleading the Bar’s case before a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rashid Ali Dar, senior Advocate Z A Shah argued that “punitive damages are to be paid to the victims if the Government responds to the unarmed crowds by using pellets disproportionately as it violates Article 21 and rights of the victims can’t be ignored.”
“The way the State has responded to control the crowds by using disproportionate force against these unarmed mobs is
The bench has been hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by the Bar Association on
He questioned whether the Government was free to use any mechanism as means of
The senior lawyer said that while using a gun to shoot at a crowd,
“In the same manner while using pellet guns which also cause death when used from a
“When the state is using the pellet guns which comprises of a cartridge with
“It is to be seen whether the agitating mob is causing damage to the property. Even if it causes damage, it does not mean they deserve to be killed by using
Shah told the Court that use of pellets by security forces killed people in Kashmir, left many blinded and others maimed, in
In response to the submissions made by Shah, the Chief Justice Mittal observed: “The stone pelters are trying to save the holed up militants and are culpable of
The senior advocate told the Court that the power of law enforcing agencies while dealing with the crowds was a “regulated power”.
“The legislature has not left it open to the Government to deal with the crowds on their discretion,” Shah said.
The provisions of
He pointed out that in the event any weaponry was to be used,
In this regard, Shah said, no material had been produced in the case by the official respondents which clearly leads to the conclusion that use of the pellet guns which have caused death and permanent
The use of pellet gun continues with impunity in spite of JK High Court passing adverse remarks against its continued use and the medical fraternity calling it lethal on every count. Medical studies—present and the past, especially based on the studies of 2010 turmoil have reached the obvious conclusion of its lethality. The medical fraternity has in fact agitated against the use of it, as has the legal fraternity. The use of pellet has been adversely commented upon in international media, as well as in sections of Indian media. Yet, its use continues and GOI provides reasons for its use in submissions to the Hon’ble High Court.
AI asks JK Govt to stop using pellet guns
Global rights group Amnesty International earlier asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to stop the use of pellet guns which have claimed lives and left hundreds blinded in the ongoing protests in Kashmir Valley.
“Pellet guns are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate, and have no place in law enforcement,” Zahoor Wani, Senior Campaigner, Amnesty International India said in a
“Amnesty International India calls on the Jammu and Kashmir government to immediately stop the use of pellet guns in policing protests,” he added.
“They cannot ensure well-targeted shots and risk causing serious injury, including to bystanders or other protesters not engaging in violence. These risks are almost impossible to control.”
Amnesty also termed the weapon as a “less-lethal” weapon which has “deadly consequences”.
Greater Kashmir report