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J&K HC issues notices to state, Centre seeking response on call for ban on pellet guns

The court refused to pass an interim order to ban the pellet guns saying the State has assured the forces will use them in exceptional cases only.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | Srinagar |
Updated: August 3, 2016 12:55:33 am
pellet guns, pellet guns ban, j&k pellet guns, j&k pellet guns ban, pellet guns ban, j&k high court, jammu kashmir, kashmir, kashmir pellet guns, kashmir news, india news Lawyers of Jammu and Kashmir High Court holding placards during a protest rally against the killing of 49 civilians and use of pellet guns by forces, at Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the state government and the Centre seeking response over a PIL calling for a ban on pellet guns used by armed forces to deal with the protests in Valley.

A Division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magray asked the counsels representing the state, Centre, police and the Central Reserve Police Forces to respond to the petition filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association by August 17.

The lawyer’s body has sought a total ban on the use of pellet guns for crowd control by forces. “The use of pellet guns and firing cartridges containing 500 to 600 metallic pellets at unarmed protesting youth is direct infringement of provisions of constitution in particular Article 21 of the constitution,” the bar association’s representative counsel Zafar Shah pleaded before the court.

The court refused to pass an interim order to ban the pellet guns saying the State has assured the forces will use them in exceptional cases only. “Those safeguards are already in place and some observations have been already made in other PILs,” the division bench said when the petitioners asked the court to prohibit the use of weapons till the filing of response.

Read: Pakistan to demand probe on use of pellet guns in Kashmir

“It has maimed the people of Kashmir. These persons have become blind absolutely and they are a pain for their parents for all their lives. This case is extremely serious to see whether at all they (forces) can be allowed to use the gun,” Shah pleaded before the court.

J&K High Court during the hearing of a different PIL on Monday had observed that the government was not treating the protesters as “their own people” and asked the CRPF to explain why most of the injured persons were hit in the eyes and above knees if the forces personnel were trained to use the pellet gun.

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