Stone Pelters Are Only Rioters; Killing Them Illegal, Unconstitutional

Stone Pelters have wreaked havoc in Jammu and Kashmir who disrupt anti-terror operations of the Indian armed forces. Strangely, Indian Law does not have any provisions to punish stone pelters except for booking them under Section 147 of IPC, which is punishment for rioting.

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In a statement before the Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday admitted that it there is “no provision in the Constitution of India to deal with anti-nationalists raising slogans or stone-pelting on Indian Army and paramilitary forces”.

This was stated by Minister of State (MoS) Hansraj Gangaram Ahir who was replying to an unstarred question posed by MP Shamsher Singh Manhas. A senior MHA officer said, “Indian Constitution may not have any provision because when India got Independence from British rule in 1947 after the years of struggle in non-cooperation movement, the situation was perhaps unforeseen then.”

Manhas sought constitutional provisions to deal with anti-nationals raising slogans against India and pelting stone on security forces.

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Elaborating on measures to deal with anti-national elements in Jammu and Kashmir, the MHA statement said, “Such offenders are dealt with as per the provision of relevant laws applicable in J&K. Jammu & Kashmir enjoys a special status under Article 370 and thus has its own constitution and Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), the main criminal code applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.”

However, senior officers say stone pelters are usually booked under Section 147 of IPC, which is punishment for rioting.

When Manhas stated there are two kinds of people in the state, nationalist and anti-nationalist, with two very different ideologies in the strife-torn state, a junior minister in MHA said, “The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been affected by terrorists and secessionist violence that is sponsored and supported from across the border for more than two and a half decades. Some local residents have also been influenced by elements inimical to national interests and indulge in undesirable activities.”

However, experts that EurAsian Times talked to state that killing the rioters or stone pelters is illegal and unconstitutional. There are other, non-lethal ways to curb rioters, but shooting them dead or even using pellet guns on them is totally wrong.

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