The Centre on Monday informed Supreme Court that the government will introduce new rubber-based shots to deal with stone-pelters in Kashmir Valley. The government said that it has issued new Standard operating Procedures (SoP) to deal with stone pelters in the Valley, one of which involves using rubber-based shots before using pellet guns.
The submission by the Central government comes almost two weeks after the apex court asked the government to consider using alternative measures other than pellet guns to deal with protesters in the state as maximum efforts needed to be made to ensure no one gets harmed. “Being a welfare state, it is a duty of the government to ensure safety of its people as well as security forces. The purpose is not to cause physical harm to its people but at the same time protect all,” said a bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar. The Court had also asked Attorney General A K Rohtagi to come up with alternatives by April 10.
The use of pellet guns became a matter of debate during the clashes which broke out in the valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani. As per the data by the government, over 12 thousand people were injured in the clashes, out of which 11 hundred received serious eye injuries due to usage of pellet guns. Earlier, in July 2016, the central government constituted a team to recommend suitable replacement for the pellet guns. A seven-member expert committee set up to explore other possible alternatives as non-lethal weapons submitted its report to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi in August last year.