Abandon Pellet guns

Introduced a few years ago as a 'less' lethal alternative, the pellet guns have wreaked havoc across Kashmir during the past few days. Data furnished by Srinagar hospitals indicate that the pellet guns have caused extensive damage to the eyes of around one hundred youth. The doctors believe that the victims may never be able to see. The human rights defenders and the medical experts have been demanding ban on the gun for long, but without results. Judicial recourse has also gone in vain. However, in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgement that the security personnel cannot use excessive force in the garb of Armed Forces Special powers Act (AFSPA), the state government, which is responsible for law and order, must withdraw the deadly gun. While the courts will lay down in the future what exactly constitutes excessive force, the state government has to draw a line and instruct the men in uniform accordingly. In the civilised world, the police, in extreme conditions, hits the protesters in the legs, after all other means fail to restore order. But in this unfortunate land, the pellets are fired in the face of the protesters. This reflects the intention of the personnel handling the gun. So it's right when it's said that the men in uniform shoot to kill. The gun has to be withdrawn because it has caused much damage than the deadly bullets. The force used to quell protests is not only excessive, it is brutal. And till the gun is abandoned, the police personnel need to be trained and told in clear terms that any injury in the face will have legal consequences. The inhuman practice has to end if the government sincerely wants restoration of order. The government is under an obligation to ensure specialised treatment of all such victims. The argument that the gun was introduced by the previous government will not exonerate the incumbent dispensation. If the previous government has committed a mistake, the present on cannot carry on with that without earning the blame.   

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