Alternative Methods Of Crowd Controlling

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Pellet Victim File Photo: The Legitimate

Yet again, the government was exposed in its way of handling the protests in Kashmir. The pellets have been showered in such a way over the protesters that as many as 150 people have suffered massive damage in their eyes.

The protesters were protesting against the killing of Hizbul Mujahidin militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter at Kokernag on July 8. With more than 150 people especially youth loosing eyesight to the pellets, it proves that state and central government has never learnt from the past crisis especially of 2008 and 2010 to minimize the civilian causalities. Pellet guns were introduced in Kashmir by the ministry of Union Home Ministry after the government came under sharp criticism over 125 civilian killings in 2010 mass uprising. Most of those killings took place in police firing. To avoid the use of bullets against protesters, the guns were sanctioned for mob controlling and to minimize substantially the loss of human lives while controlling protests.

Unfortunately, the weapon didn’t only prove more lethal, however, the police even failed to minimize the loss of lives. In just ten days of protests 40 civilians were killed while 3000 more were injured during the clashes between protesters and security forces. What is more pathetic that 150 more people especially youth have lost eye sight? It is yet to be known how many among them will be fortunate enough to see the world through their eyes again. In majority of such cases the doctors already termed future dark. The Kashmir is always a place of uncertainty where protests and law and order problems often disturb fragile peace. But restoring order by the state government at the cost of human lives is unjustified. No one can even justify firing bullets or pellets on rock throwing youth. The state and central government often react more intensely to the protests in Kashmir. Centre sends additional deployments and the state authorities turn more aggressive towards the angry protesters.

The spontaneous protests and the public outrage which appears as the common feature of Kashmir life seems to have failed to teach the successive governments. The government reactions often remain inflammatory and give chance to inimical elements of peace. It only fare up the tension making peace more elusive and distant.In 2010, when 125 civilian killings took place in valley over the Machil fake encounter by army, Mehbooba Mufti as leader of opposition criticized the then Chief minister, Omar Abdullah for handling the protests. She didn’t only raised the issue in Legislative Assembly many times Mehbooba also led several protests along with her party cadres to seek the punishment to the guilty forces. Today Mehbooba is sailing in the same troubled waters and it is high time for her to find the alternative methods of crowd controlling systems. Due to the faltering policy of New Delhi towards Kashmir, there is no possibility of seeing any end to such events unfolding in Kashmir. The alternative crowd control mechanism would be beneficial in saving the human lives and also save both state and central government from sharp criticism at international forum, the way its faces right now.

The editorial first appeared in print edition of July 20 to 26, 2016.

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