Pellet guns threat to life: SHRC

Seeks Response From Government, Police

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Srinagar, May 14: Observing that use of pellet guns by government forces was a serious threat to life, the State Human Rights Commission has issued notices to J&K Government and Director General of Police, asking them to submit their response.
 The Commission has observed that the use of pellet guns apparently caused more serious injuries and the law enforcement agencies have not achieved desired goals. “We have pursued the contents of the complainant (that draws attention towards the adverse effects of the use of pellet gun by law enforcing agencies). Prima facie as case of human rights violation is made out.”
 The SHRC has observed that law enforcing agencies were bound to strictly follow Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and adhere to the use of non-lethal methods of mob control in order to prevent casualties. “It must be the endeavor of law enforcing agencies to use minimum force, which will not cause any casualties or serious injuries,” it said.
 “The co-ordinate bench has taken the trouble to download the recent address by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh which he delivered at the Annual Conference of DGPs and IGPs, wherein he laid much stress for ‘Revisiting of Standard Operating Procedure’ but as per the submissions made by the complainant, the Prime Minister’s sermon has not travelled beyond the doors of the conference hall,” the Commission observed.
 Earlier, a petition regarding the excessive use of pellet guns by government forces was filed by non-governmental organization, International Forum for Justice, in the SHRC. The NGO had sought investigation, registration of First Information Reports against Police and paramilitary personnel and compensation to victims.
 The petition had referred to incidents in which 10 innocent persons allegedly either lost their eyesight or received serious bodily injuries, rendering them disabled.
 “Rafiqa Bano, a resident of Howura Mishpora village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, suffered grievous injuries on head after a teargas shell hit her, damaging her left eye completely,” the petition stated.
 It stated that Tariq Ahmad Gojri son of Bashir Ahmad Gojri of Khanpor Baramulla lost his eye after a teargas shell hit him during protests on February 9, when Afzal Guru was hanged.
 The petition also referred to few other incidents of pellet injuries following Guru’s execution. It sought compensation for victims’ rehabilitation.
 The use of pellet guns by forces came into spotlight on March 10 when around 85 civilians were reportedly injured, most of them by pellet guns, in north Kashmir’s old town Baramulla. That day, Government Dispensary Sheeri received 85 injured persons in the age group of 25 to 60 years.
 The issue also echoed in Legislative Assembly on March 11 when a few politicians from the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party expressed resentment over the use of pellets by government forces.  “The use of pellets by the security personnel while dealing with the protesters is adversely affecting people’s health. People are being injured and killed,” PDP President Mehbooba Mufti had said.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 May 2013 00:00:00 IST




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