Use of pellets no human rights violation, says CRPF

The Central Reserve Police Force has refused to disclose information about use of pellet guns during the five-month-long uprising in Kashmir last year, saying “it is not related to human rights violations.”
In its reply, the office of Directorate General of CRPF has said: “In the instant matter, there appears to be no violation of human rights as well as facts of the case don’t attract the allegation of corruption. Moreover, your application does not make any reference to such allegations,” reads the order passed by DIG (Adm) and CPIO, CRPF. 
Under the Central RTI Act, the CRPF is exempted from the law but is liable to disclose information regarding human rights violations and alleged corruption.
“Security forces including CRPF are exempted to provide information except information related to allegations of corruption/violation of human rights under section 24(1) of RTI Act,” reads the CRPF order.
In his application, noted RTI activist and Programme Coordinator at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Venkatesh Nayak had sought information from the CRPF headquarters about the use of pellet guns in Kashmir and the  Standard Operating Procedure used by the force while dispersing the protesters.
He had also sought details about paramilitary CRPF men injured in the five-month-long uprising in Kashmir triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
In the past six months, nearly 7000 civilians were wounded in pellet firing by forces in different parts of Kashmir. Of them, 1200 were hit by pellets in their eyes, with many of them losing their eyesight. 
The use of pellet guns has come under sharp criticism from different rights bodies who have demanded blanket ban on their use. “Pellet guns are inherently indiscriminate, particularly at a distance. Fired at close range, pellets are likely to penetrate the skin in a manner similar to live ammunition, significantly increasing their risk of inflicting severe injury on protesters and bystanders,” says the US-based Nobel prize winning rights body, Physicians for Human Rights.
“Our review of medical literature shows that pellet guns, which belong to a class of weapons known as kinetic impact projectiles that includes rubber bullets, should never be used for crowd control”.
J&K’s first Chief Information Commissioner GR Sufi questioned the CRPF order, saying “its Public Information Officer (PIO) has failed to honour the RTI law.”
“If pellets hit any part of the human body, it is blatant human rights violation. Hence, this falls under the definition of human rights violation and so it is disclosable,” he said.
The CIC said:  “The Supreme Court has also said that disclosure of information is a norm while withholding it is an exception.”
Under the Central RTI Act, the CRPF is exempted from the law but is liable to disclose information regarding human rights violations and alleged corruption.


Popular posts from this blog

BRAS claiming Balochistan attack on PAK Army & Navy Personnel a reality or Inside job Plot to Blame INDIA ????

Network Centric Warfare Capabilities & INDIAN ARMED FORCES

Is PAKISTAN ISI Trying to Forcibly Push in Unarmed PAK Civilians into J&K with Help of JKLF; Declares date to forcibly cross border with 1,50,000 people into INDIA