Srinagar, March 10, 2013 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Indian police and paramilitary CRPF continue to resort to firing on protesters without permission of magistrates in violation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
The SOP violation has often resulted in the killing of protesters by the police and paramilitary forces.
On February 10, when CRPF personnel opened fire on a protest rally in Watrgam area of Baramulla and killed a 15-year-old Ubair Mushtaq besides injuring four others, no magistrate was present on the spot.
In 2009, the puppet Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, in a meeting had asked the administration to ensure presence of a magistrate when dealing with protesters. However, nothing has changed on ground with police and paramilitary CRPF using excessive force on protesters during the past few weeks.
“If a magistrate is not present at the situation, police and parliamentary CRPF have no right to open fire on protesters. Killing a boy at Watrgam is gross violation of SOP by the forces,” said senior High Court lawyer, Syed Riaz Khawar in an interview.
He said that under law police and paramilitary CRPF had no right to shoot at protesters. “Not even powers devised to forces under AFSPA empower them to shoot at innocent protestors. The act of CRPF firing on unarmed civilians is tantamount to violation of law and a case may be registered against it,” he opined.
The former Secretary of Indian Supreme Court Bar Association, Ashok Arora, said that the paramilitary CRPF had no right to take law into its own hands. “There is a proper mechanism to deal with a situation. It is extremely unheard of that bullets are showered on people who register protest,” he deplored.
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