The Supreme Court today expressed concern over exploitation of caste, religion and other divisive tactics during violent mass demonstrations in which protesters destroy public and private property making task difficult for police who also become target of the mob.
The court, which made the remarks while awarding a compensation ranging from Rs one lakh to two lakh to three Kashmiri migrants who were assaulted by the police in Jammu and Kashmir during a protest in 2007, also noted that there were numerous instances where separatist groups have “provoked violence” making the task difficult and delicate for the cops.
It said in curbing such violence or dispersing unlawful assemblies, police have to accomplish their task with utmost care as law and order needs to be restored but it should also be ensured that “unnecessary force” is not used.
“In Kashmir itself there have been numerous instances where separatist groups have provoked violence. In this scenario, task of the police and law enforcing agencies becomes more difficult and delicate,” the bench comprising justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal said.
“In curbing such violence or dispersing unlawful assemblies, police has to accomplish its task with utmost care, deftness and precision. Thus, on the one hand, law and order needs to be restored and at the same time, it is also to be ensured that unnecessary force or the force beyond what is absolutely essential is not used,” it said.
The bench, which was dealing with the petition of three Kashmiri migrants who had planned to take out peaceful protest march up to Delhi for ventilating their grievances and were assaulted by the police in Jammu and Kashmir in 2007, said “Policemen are required to undergo special training to deal with these situations.”
“Many times the situations turn ugly or go out of control because of lack of sufficient training to the police personnel to deal with violence and challenges to their authority,” it said while expressing its displeasure that frequent exploitation on grounds of caste, religious, regional language and class divisions to foment violence during demonstrations is “unfortunate”.