Jammu and Kashmir High Court today requests a report from the centre on the use of pellet guns against the protesters in the state by the security forces. Many Indian leaders ask to end the use of pellet guns in Kashmir valley. A senior Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a press conference in the House of Parliament said that “Very sad over the use of pellet guns, especially the injuries to young boys due to its use.”

What are Pellet Guns? Why are they used?

A Pellet is a non-spherical bullet like a ball fired out of an air gun by the experts with the approval of the government to control the crowd during agitations or protests. Pellets differ from regular bullets which are fired out of firearms. The use of pellets is no harm to life but can damage the sensitive parts of the body.

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While hearing a petition, a Division Bench that includes Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar stated “Pellet is a round ball loaded with lead. If it penetrates the eye, which is a waterball, the damage is done. Can’t you use other methods like water, tear gas? This (pellet gun) has proved to be lethal. These are your people. They have anger. They are protesting. That does not mean you should render them disabled. You have to protect them. Hope it (use of pellet guns) is reviewed,”

So, it is clear that the court disapproves the use of lethal weapons by the “untrained personnel.” HC seeks government to go with any other crowd control methods like water or tear gas. The security forces in the case are inexperienced as the witness comes from an earlier statement of CRPF DGP that 114 companies of paramilitary force undergoing training had been appointed to control the situation in Kashmir.

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“What one understands is those who are using them are not trained. It becomes lethal when handed over to a person who does not know how to use it. Ensure it is used only by qualified personnel, but we are not approving it,” the court said.
According to the reports, the Asst. Solicitor General of India has to file a response to the handling of pellet guns by the security forces. It is noted that maximum civilians suffered eye injuries as the new security forces targeted the head instead of legs.

“Take steps for restoring mobile connectivity in Kashmir Valley. Serious problems are being created. Maybe, initially, this was a requirement. You can restore it area-wise. Your students and people outside have no contact with their families. You have to think on your feet,” the bench said.The government was asked to take a decision immediately regarding the mobile telephone network ban in the state as “non-communication is affecting the lives of everybody.”