Special training for Kashmir cops to avoid being provoked a must, says SC

  • Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 13, 2016 02:00 IST
Policemen attempt to dispel Kashmiri protestors in Srinagar in July 2016. Close to 60 people were killed in clashes between security forces and locals in the aftermath of militant Burhan Wani’s death. (AFP Photo)

Special training must be imparted to policemen in Kashmir to ensure they do not get provoked by violent protests spearheaded by separatist groups there, the Supreme Court said on Friday.

A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri acknowledged that law enforcing agencies faced a tough task in curbing such violence, but advised security forces to accomplish the task with utmost care.

“In Kashmir itself there have been numerous instances where separatist groups have provoked violence. In this scenario, task of the police and law enforcing agencies becomes more difficult and delicate. In curbing such violence or dispersing unlawful assemblies, police has to accomplish its task with utmost care, deftness and precision,” the bench said.

This is the second time in less than a week that the top court has advised police in the valley to not use unnecessary force in Kashmir.

On Tuesday, a bench headed by justice PC Ghose had asked the J&K police to adopt a humane approach in dealing with a case where a father has accused policemen of murdering his son, Shabir Ahmad Mir, because he participated in a protest march.

The Valley has been gripped in a spate of violence after locals protested the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wahi. Protests mushroomed after civilians died and were injured in these clashes.

Justice Sikri’s bench gave its order on a petition filed by migrants who moved the SC after they were brutally injured when a police party “manhandled” during a “peaceful march” in Jammu. The court ordered Rs 2 lakh compensation for three petitioners and directed the State to make the payment within two months.

Lack of special training of policemen often leads to ugly situations that go out of control, the bench noted. It, however, acknowledged that use of force becomes necessary when a crowd or assembly becomes violent.

An SC bench of justice Ghose on Friday allowed the J&K government to exhume Mir’s body and conduct his post-mortem, which will be done under the supervision of principal district and sessions judge within three weeks. The post-mortem will confirm whether Mir was killed by a bullet, as claimed by the family, or pellets as contended by the State.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi contended the State was willing to get to the bottom of the matter and send a message to people that the probe will be transparent. He assured the bench that the deputy superintendent of police, who has been accused of shooting Mir, will not be present during the autopsy. He said the litigation was not adversarial.

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