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Supreme Court asks Centre to submit a report on ‘alternative for pellet guns’ to quell Kashmir unrest by April 10

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New Delhi | Published: March 27, 2017 2:49:56 PM

Supreme Court on Monday asked Centre whether there is any alternative for the pellet guns to diminish unrest in the Kashmir Valley. The court has asked the Union of India to file a reply within April 10.

Supreme Court, Centre, Narendra Modi government, pellet guns, unrest in Kashmir Valley, Union of India, Jammu and Kashmir, life and deathThe top court was hearing a plea filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHBA) seeking direction in the ?excessive? use of pellet guns. (PTI)

Supreme Court on Monday asked Centre whether there is any alternative for the pellet guns to diminish unrest in the Kashmir Valley. The court has asked the Union of India to file a reply within April 10. The apex court also asked the government to consider effective means other than pellet guns to quell agitating mobs in Jammu and Kashmir as it concerns life and death, ANI reported.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHBA) seeking direction in the use of pellet guns. KHBA filed this petition in the top court in July 2016 alleging that the pellet guns are being ‘misused’. After the militant Burhan Wani’s encounter and consequential uprising in the Kashmir Valley, several lives were lost and damaged due to use of pellet guns, according to the petition.

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During a hearing in December 2016, SC told the Centre that pellet guns should not be used “indiscriminately” for controlling street protests in Jammu and Kashmir and there should be “proper application of mind” by the authorities before its use, Indian Express reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur issued notices to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government while seeking their replies on a plea alleging “excessive” use of pellet guns in the state.

The division bench of the SC admitted the petition for hearing by KHBA and directed the Central Government to submit the report of the team of experts constituted on the use of pellet guns before the court. The apex court also sought assistance of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, asking him to submit copy of the report exploring other alternatives to pellet guns.

The case of ‘excessive use of pellet guns in the valley’ is being followed up since July 2016 and as a resolution, replacement of the weapon is being deliberated upon. A seven-member expert committee has been set up for exploring other possibilities, it submitted a report to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi in August 2016.

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