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The Supreme Court Monday observed that around 20,000 people would have lost their lives had the security forces used real bullets instead of pellets, while the Central government tacitly rejected demands to do away with pellet guns for crowd-control in Jammu and Kashmir.
As the court noticed that almost 90 per cent of the mob of protesters were in the age group of 13-20 years, the government maintained that “pellets will be used as the last resort before live ammunition” and that a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been framed to regulate its usage.
“We have issued a new SOP on April 7-8 that would have graded response and in the hierarchy of crowd control tools to be used, a new rubber-based shot is being introduced. This will be used before the security forces use pellet guns,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before the bench.
On March 28, the bench had asked the Centre to consider using alternative means other than pellet guns in the Valley.