The contents of ‘standard operating procedure’ (SOP) followed by police and other “law enforcing agencies” for “dispersal of unlawful assembly” and “use of force” in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be disclosed in “the interest of national security,” the Government of India has said.
As per SOP, “the use of force should be 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,” Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha Tuesday.
“ The hierarchy of usage of forces inter-alia includes use of rubber bullet/ plastic bullets. Since, the contents of the SOP and the suggested security measures contain classified information, therefore, further details in the matter cannot be disclosed in the interest of the national security,” he said.
Parliamentarian Dr P Venugopal had asked the government to state whether it is true that it will introduce less lethal plastic bullets to be used against protesters in Jammu and Kashmir.
On the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as Indian government’s representative for “dialouge” in Jammu and Kashmir , the minister said that considering the “positive initial response from different sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir, it is expected that all stakeholders in the state who believe in peace would support the Government initiative and join the dialogue process.”