No plan to scrap Art 370: GoI ’Govt will implement recommendations on use of pellet guns’

The Government of India (Go) Tuesday said it had no plan to scrap the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu.

In reply to a question, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told Lok Sabha that there was no proposal to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
“There is currently no such proposal under consideration of the government,” he said.
The question was posed by ruling BJP member Ashwini Kumar who wanted to know whether the GoI was committed to scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution.

The scrapping of Article 370 is one of the major electoral planks of ruling BJP since a long time and it also included it in the poll manifesto in 2014.
However, the Agenda of Alliance formed by BJP and PDP in J&K maintains that status quo would be maintained on Article 370.

In reply to another question by Congress members Jyotiraditya Scindia and Gaurav Gogoi on statements given by GoI’s interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma on violence in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said, “Sharma had recently visited border areas in view of recent ceasefire violations and suggested some measures for the local population including shifting residents and constructing bunkers.”

He said the GoI was keen to bring peace in Jammu and Kashmir and was ready to hold dialogue with all sections of society, who shun the path of violence.
However, he did not specify whom the government wants to talk.
While replying to a separate question on recruitment of militants, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told the House that about 18 boys of Baramulla, who were intending to join militant groups, have been rescued.
In response to a question whether the standard procedure was adopted on use of pellet guns, Rijiju told the Lok Sabha that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been adopted by Jammu and Kashmir Police including law enforcing agencies for dispersing unlawful assembly and as per the SOP less lethal weapons should be used as per the established use of force policy.
In response to a question by BJD member from Odisha whether CRPF continues to use pellet guns in Jammu and Kashmir, MoS Home said, “Government of India had constituted an expercommittee on 26.07.2016 to explore other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non lethal weapons. The committee has submitted its report and the recommendations have been taken into account by the government for appropriate implementation.”
He said a three days special training is being provided to security personnel for use of less lethal weapons/ammunitions.
The minister said SOP has been adopted by Jammu and Kashmir Police and other law enforcing agencies for dispersing unlawful assembly.
“The use of force is guided by objectives of restoring peace, dispersal of violent unlawful assembly with use of such force as is required to minimize the casualty but without compromising safety for Law Enforcement Elements and peace loving citizens. The hierarchy of usage of forces inter-alia includes use of rubber bullet/ plastic bullets,” he added.