The Division Bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice, Justice M.M. Kumar, and Justice Ali Mohammad Magray, Wednesday dismissed public interest litigations (PIL) regarding the use of pepper gas in mob management and use of pellet guns.
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 along with the connected CMPs related the use of pepper gas and pellet guns in mob management.