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Kashmir protests: Treat them as your own people, High Court tells Centre

The court asked the government to think about the use of pellet guns in the light of the statement of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | Srinagar |
Updated: August 2, 2016 8:48:32 am
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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday asked the Centre to treat protesters in the Valley as “their own”, and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to explain why most of the injured had been wounded above the knees and in the eyes.

“They are your own people. They are not aliens. They have not descended from outer space with their own pellets,” a division bench of the High Court said during the hearing of a PIL. “Treat them as your own people. You are not treating them as your own people.”

The division bench, comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, said, “It is a problem for the state. They use pellet guns, their own people suffer and they have to get doctors from outside.”

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The court asked the government to think about the use of pellet guns in the light of the statement of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

“Why don’t you think about it (use of pellet guns)? Your own Home Minister said avoid its use… Why don’t you find alternative methods,” it asked.

Regarding CRPF IG Atul Karwal’s submission that the paramilitary personnel were experienced and fully trained to use anti-riot equipment, the court said it did not explain why people had suffered injuries above the knees and their eyes were damaged.

“It is all on paper that you are trained, that you are fit to deal with this gun, but on the ground the story is different because the material before the court is given by the state government, that these are the injuries suffered by these people because of the use of the pellet guns,” the court said. “Is it not a fact that people have suffered pellet injuries above the knee, mostly eyes.”

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