Nation needs to restrain use of pellet guns by paramilitary: Congress

| Updated: Aug 20, 2016 20:37 IST

New Delhi, Aug. 20 (ANI): Expressing dismay over the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) warning that more fatalities could take place in restive Jammu and Kashmir if the use of pellet guns are banned, the Congress Party on Saturday said in a democracy a more humane approach is the need of the hour. Objecting to the CRPF counsel's statement before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan told ANI that this seemed to be is a "threat to the high court" as also a "denial of the democratic right" to people to protest in the state. Vadakkan said it was not right on the part of CRPF counsel to say, "If you don't permit pellets, we'll fire bullets." "What kind of democracy we are living in? Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and we are dealing with civilians," he added. Vadakkan said the nations's paramilitary forces must be restrained. "Who decides on who will use pellets or bullets? Is it the civilian authorities or CRPF commandos, open fire with bullets? Shocking!" he added. Responding to former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah's likely meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee today, Vadakkan said, "We all across the country: the ruling party, the PDP, the opposition must join hands for the healing touch, because this is the time we have to show the human side. We are dealing with civilian society, and not all of them are terrorists. They are Indian citizens. Let us deal with them appropriately." "The healing touch is what is required and the Central government must heal," he added. The counsel for the paramilitary force submitted an affidavit to the high court in response to a PIL filed before the same court, seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns as a means for crowd control in the valley, which has been rocked by violent protests since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. The CRPF said pellet guns were introduced in 2010 and were an accepted weapon of riot control. It said that following standard operating procedures while dealing with a dynamic law and order problem is difficult in case of moving, bending and running target. The CRPF said that during the recent unrest in Kashmir, it fired around 3,500 pellet cartridges.(ANI)