Pepper Gas Claims Life

PIL seeks ban on use of pepper gas in Kashmir

‘It Affects Not Only Protesters, But Also People Sitting In Homes’
Srinagar, Mar 12: Underscoring its deleterious impact on humans, two lawyers Tuesday filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking ban on the use of pepper gas by police while dealing with protests in Kashmir.
Seeking directions to Union of India through Ministry of Home Affairs, Chief Secretary, Financial Commissioner Home Department, Director General of Police, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, advocates Mian Tufail and Nasir Qadri filed the PIL stating that pepper gas affects vital organs of human body.
“The Government of J&K has recently introduced a new weapon- Pepper Gun- to control mobs which contains dreadful chemical and is very harmful and dangerous to human body, and can even cause death of a person,” states the PIL.
Pointing out the harmful effects of the pepper gas used by police and other security forces, the petitioners have stated that the gun is specially designed to cause blindness or infectious diseases or death.
“The pepper gas mostly affects the patients already suffering from various diseases and can cause several problems to persons with chest diseases. Moreover, this dreadful gas is lachrymatory agent which can cause blindness,” reads the PIL.
The PIL says: “In case a weapon falls in the category of those weapons which causes superfluous injury or unnecessary sufferings in this connection, international organizations also encourage the States to consider the effect of weapon on health and to weigh these against other factors such as military necessity.”
“The Pepper Gun was first used by United States Forest Authorities in self defense against dogs and bears and its spray contains a deadly chemical, which is harmful to human body,” states the PIL.
The PIL states that the pepper gas used by police and security forces affects not only the persons participating in protests but has a direct effect even on those sitting in their homes.
Referring to the reports carried in Greater Kashmir, enclosed as annexure with the PIL, the petitioners state, “In its issue of March 6, 2013, the daily Greater Kashmir has reported that despite repeated directions by Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission for stopping the use of pepper gas, the police and security forces are continuously using the gas in various areas of Shahr-e-Khas during street clashes.”
“In its issue of March 9, 2013, the daily Greater Kashmir has reported that pepper gas claimed the life of a 60-year old woman namely Hajra Begum from Aali Kadal, Srinagar, who at the time of incident was present inside her home,” reads the PIL.

Uproar in J&K assembly over Afzal Guru's body Previous post Uproar in J&K assembly over Afzal Guru’s body
Omar Abdullah slams Afzal Guru's hanging, says long-term implications 'far more worrying' Next post Separatists react strongly