10/04/2017 6:29 PM IST | Updated 10/04/2017 6:39 PM IST

Pellet Guns Last Resort, Exploring Other Options Also, Centre Tells SC

Around 78 people lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir last year due to pellet guns.

TAUSEEF MUSTAFA via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- In a Supreme Court hearing on the burning issue on the usage of pellet guns to disperse protestors in the Valley, the Centre on Monday assured the apex court that using the weapon is the absolute last resort and the idea is not to kill anybody.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that they are also exploring other options like rubber bullet for dispersing the crowd instead of pellet guns.

The Supreme Court was hearing the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association's plea against the use of pellet guns in the state.

In the last hearing, the apex court had asked the Centre to consider effective means other than use of pellet guns to quell stone pelting mobs in Jammu and Kashmir as it concerns life and death.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association had earlier alleged that the pellet guns are being 'misused'.

The case was filed in the wake of the several lives lost during last year unrest in the Kashmir Valley.

The division bench of the Supreme Court had, in December last year, admitted the petition for hearing and directed the Central Government to submit the report of the team of experts constituted on the use of pellet guns before the court.

Earlier in July 2016, the Centre constituted a team to recommend suitable replacement for the pellet guns.

A seven-member expert committee set up for exploring other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons submitted its report to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi in August.

Around 78 people lost their lives and over 100 people were injured in Jammu and Kashmir last year due to pellet guns.

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