PIL Against Pepper, Pellet Gun Use Dismissed

SRINAGAR: The Division Bench of J&K High Court today dismissed public interest litigation filed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq that had challenged the use of pepper gas and pellet guns in mob management.

Division bench comprised of Chief Justice, Mr. Justice M.M. Kumar, and Mr. Justice Ali Mohammad Magray. 

The respondent-State contended that the instant petitions do not serve any public interest, but seem to be an attempt by the petitioners to gain publicity over a very sensitive issue, adding that the J&K Police stands committed to protect and preserve the life and property of the people and at the same time maintains normalcy and peace in the State so that no hardship or disturbance is caused to the people. The actions taken to achieve this goal are based solely on good faith and are backed by the mandate of law.

It was further contended that to ensure minimum loss of life and damage to the property, the law enforcing agencies have procured for use various non-lethal munitions including Tear Smoke Shells and Oleoresin Grenades to disperse unruly mobs. These tear smoke and oleoresin grenades are internationally accepted non-lethal means of controlling unruly mobs to restore law and order. As such it becomes imperative for Police to use force for controlling the mobs by using non-lethal weapons like tear smoke gas and oleoresin grenades to avoid causalities.

It was further stated that the members of stone pelting mobs, besides pelting stones, also use catapults and petrol bombs to attack the security forces giving them the least chance to disperse those unruly mobs by means of lathi charge.

 While dismissing the PILs, Division Bench of High Court held that all these petitions are dismissed alongwith the connected CMPs related the use of pepper gas and pellet guns in mob management.  

KNS ADDS: Court said the petitioners had oblique motive in their petition which was moved half heartedly before the Court. The Court has said that the prayers in the petition cannot be accepted in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court and their own observations.

In May, this year, the Court had admitted a PIL filed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq against the use of pellets and pepper gas by police and CRPF to deal with law and order situations.

Mirwaiz had referred to a youth Suhail Ahmad Khan son of Abdul Majid Khan of Khalid Colony Soura who according to him was critically injured after being hit by pellets fired by forces in old city. 

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