The Supreme Court on Wednesday said authorities should only resort to using pump action guns against protestors after “proper application of the mind”. The court was hearing a petition alleging that the Jammu and Kashmir government had used the guns, which have left thousands permanently scarred by pellets, excessively. The court has asked the Centre and the state government to respond on the matter, PTI reported.

“All that we want is an assurance that pellet guns will not be used indiscriminately or excessively in the state and will be resorted to after proper application of mind,” the bench said. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was directed to submit a copy of a report by the expert committee set up to investigate the use of the guns since unrest broke out in the state after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in July.

Nearly 100 people have died and thousands have been injured since Wani’s death. The state government has been criticised for using inordinate amounts of force against civilians, even as the state continues to suffer under curfews, blocked mobile services, closed schools and other disruptions to everyday activities.