In a significant judgement amid an uproar on the use of pellet guns by security forces, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday refused to ban its use in violent situations.
“We are not inclined to prohibit the use of pellet guns in rare and extreme situations,” a division bench of chief justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said.
The bench also observed that the use of “force” by security personnel was “inevitable” in riot situations.
“What kind of force should be used at a relevant point of time, or in a given situation/place, has to be decided by the people in charge of the place where the attack is happening,” the court said.
The central government is facing severe criticism for the use of pellet guns in Kashmir to control the unrest that erupted after the killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani by Indian security forces.
The court further said that it can’t decide whether the use of force in Kashmir was excessive in the absence of any competent authority or forum coming up with any such finding.
“The government has already constituted a committee of experts through its memorandum dated 26.07.2016 for exploring other alternatives to pellet guns… we are not inclined to prohibit the use of pellet guns in rare and extreme situations before the filing of a report by the expert committee or (the notification of a) decision taken at the government level,” the court said in its judgement.
The court, however, asked the state government to ensure that all the injured persons receive adequate medical treatment from specialists in the field.