Pellet ‘non-lethal’ weapon, says India’s former Home Secretary

‘Only 60 people killed in 48 days’

New Delhi: Stating that Pakistan cannot be blamed for everything happening in Kashmir former Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai has said that “use of pellet guns in Kashmir have proved non-lethal as only 60 people have been killed in 48 days.” He said that the decision to use pellet guns in Kashmir has vindicated our stand that it is non-lethal weapon.

In an interview to a New Delhi based news channel, Pillai who handled the 2010 Kashmir uprising said the idea behind using pellet guns was to use “non-lethal weapons” as much as possible. “In 2010, more than 100 people died. Today, even after 48 days of agitation, around 60 have been killed. There is a drop of about 40 per cent in the casualties,” he said. Pillai said if the forces don’t have an alternative, they will have to use normal bullets, and “there will be casualties”.

Supporting “substantive dialogue” with all sections in Kashmir, Pillai said, the current “political initiative” should have come earlier. “Blaming only Pakistan for the unrest is counterproductive,” he further added.

He said Pakistan cannot be blamed for everything. “There is an underlying sentiment in Kashmir that needs to be addressed.

He said the 2010 initiative -when the Centre appointed interlocutors — should have been carried forward and some of the recommendations made by the interlocutors could have been implemented.

Any dialogue, he said, has to be based on sound local governance, where people have a stake. In this context, he said former chief minister Omar Abdullah is responsible for the current unrest, letting slip the edge gained after the successful Panchayat elections in the state in 2012.

Omar Adbullah, he said, should have been “statesman” enough and devolved “administrative and financial powers,” allowing for the growth of local institutions and participation of locals in the process of development. (CNS)

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