An international rights watchdog has urged authorities to hold credible and impartially investigation into use of force during violent protests in Jammu and Kashmir state that have killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds.
In a statement Human Rights Watch said that rock-throwing at demonstrations is serious but does not provide police a free pass to use force against protesters.
"Rock-throwing at demonstrations is serious but does not provide police a free pass to use force against protesters," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"The authorities need to send a clear message that lethal force is only an option when a life is at imminent risk, and those misusing force will be held accountable," she said in the statement.
State security forces have responded by firing pellet guns, teargas, and live ammunition, it said.
While law enforcement officials have a duty to protect lives and property, they should use nonviolent means as far as possible, only use force when unavoidable and in a proportionate manner, and use lethal force only when absolutely necessary to save lives, Human Rights Watch said.
HRW said that Indian security forces have been using pellet guns as a nonlethal option for crowd control after nearly 120 people were killed during weeks of protests in 2010.
"The use of pellet guns since 2010 has reportedly resulted in at least 300 hospitalizations in Srinagar, including 16 cases in which the patient lost their sight completely," the statement added.