The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) High Court on Wednesday (11 March) dismissed a plea seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns by security forces to control crowds in the recently created Union Territory, reports Hindustan Times.
The plea, filed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA) in 2016, sought a ban as well as the prosecution of security forces for using pellet guns on protesters and non-protesters.
The plea was filed after security forces used pellet guns in 2016 to rein in protests that triggered following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. Many protesters were injured by the pellets used to control the violent crowds.
A division bench of the J&K HC comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Dhiraj Singh Thakur on Wednesday (11 March) dismissed the plea while citing 2016 order that supported the use of force in controlling violent mobs.
The court mentioned that it has “recorded a finding in its order dated 21.09.2016, particularly in paras 22 to 27”.
The HC on 21 September 2016 has observed that “so long a there is violence by unruly mobs, use of force is inevitable”.
“What kind of force has to be used at the relevant point of time or in a given situation/place has to be decided by the persons in charge of the place where the attack is happening,” it added.
The HC on Wednesday also refused to consider prosecution of security forces, saying, “as no findings of use of excessive force, violating the guidelines issued in the SOP [standard operating procedure] have been recorded by any fact finding authority ... the persons alleging use of excessive force, due to which death or injury has occurred, can approach the appropriate forum to seek redressal”.
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