No withdrawal of pellet guns till violence, stone throwing on: SC

No withdrawal of pellet guns till violence, stone throwing on: SC
The Supreme Court on Friday said it cannot order withdrawal of pellet guns till violence, agitation and stone throwing are on in Jammu and Kashmir.

The government, for its part, asserted it cannot talk to any separatist. It also maintained the security forces cannot be withdrawn from J & K because of it being a border state.

“If confrontation continues, no conversation can continue. If you keep throwing stones and burning down schools, nothing would happen. If we direct withdrawal of pellet guns, you tell us what are the steps that you are going to take,” a three-judge bench presided over Chief Justice J S Khehar asked the J&K Bar Association.

The court said the Bar Association can't say that the problem is complex, it is the minor player and the whole state is involved into it. The Bar Association has moved the court for direction to the security forces to stop use of pellet guns.

“This is (going to create) history. You can play a role and you will be remembered for times to come,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul told a host of counsel, representing the state bar.

The Bar Association contended the Union government was not ready to talk and put a number of leaders in confinement. It said the government has to withdraw security forces from Srinagar and stop the use of 5000 pellets guns. The counsel demanded “unconditional and uninterrupted dialogue” to diffuse the situation in the state.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, representing the central security forces, took strong objection to an affidavit filed by the association, terming the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India as “controversial”. He also questioned their stand that all elections in the state were “rigged”.

“You are Bar Association but talk of separatists. They can't say that the entire nation (J&K) is under state terrorism,” he said. He also asked how they can talk of people but at the same time maintain that they can't represent anybody.

The court, however, told the top law officer that it would stop hearing the matter immediately if the Centre felt that it could not play any role. “If you feel, we have no jurisdiction, we will close the file,” the bench said.

“Let them make a statement, we will respond to it. Let them clarify whom they want to meet and who are the people they want to discuss,” he said. Rohatgi also pointed the state has a duly-elected government and its chief minister Mehbooba Mufti recently met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his invitation. “Why can others also not meet the CM and the PM,” he asked. The court then asked the Bar Association to come back on May 9 with a road map to end the crisis.

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