Stone Pelters And Terrorists Have No Right To Life: An Examination

A comprehensive analysis of the statement that stone pelters and terrorists have no right to life. Delving into human rights, legal perspectives, and potential solutions.
Stone Pelters And Terrorists Have No Right To Life: An Examination

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Understanding Terrorism and Stone Pelting

  3. Ensuring the right to life as a fundamental human entitlement.

  4. Counter-Terrorism Measures and Human Rights

  5. The Case of Jammu and Kashmir

  6. The Role of the Judiciary

  7. Right to Life Vs. Right to National Security 

  8. Understanding the Complexity

  9. Use of Force by Security Agencies

  10. Role of Judiciary and Fair Trial

  11. Strengthening the Socio-Political Infrastructure

  12. Rehabilitation and Deradicalization Efforts

  13. Conclusion


The issue of terrorism and its associated activities like stone-pelting has long plagued many parts of the world, including India. There's a contentious claim that often surfaces in such discourses - "Stone pelters and terrorists have no right to life." While such a statement may evoke strong responses, it's crucial to dissect it within the framework of human rights, legal perspectives, and potential solutions. The goal of this blog is to shed light on this controversial subject through an informed and balanced approach.

Understanding Terrorism and Stone Pelting

Terrorism, in its essence, denotes the illicit utilization of violence and intimidation, particularly targeting civilians, to achieve political objectives. It disrupts peace, threatens democracy, and endangers human rights. Stone-pelting, often seen as a form of civil disobedience, is associated with acts of protest against perceived injustice. However, when it turns violent and leads to loss of life and property, it transgresses its non-violent nature and becomes a matter of concern.

In areas affected by terrorism, stone-pelting is sometimes used as a method to distract security forces during encounters with terrorists. This, in turn, jeopardizes the safety of not just the security personnel but also the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

Ensuring the right to life as a fundamental human entitlement.

The Right to Life is recognized as a fundamental human right, enshrined in international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 3) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 6). Regardless of the crimes a person might have committed, these rights apply universally. This means that even individuals involved in criminal activities like terrorism or stone-pelting inherently retain their right to life.

Nonetheless, this does not exempt them from facing the legal repercussions of their actions. They are subject to the rule of law and if found guilty through a fair trial, can be sentenced accordingly. But it's vital to note that the concept of a fair trial is again a part of human rights.

Counter-Terrorism Measures and Human Rights

Counter-terrorism measures are essential to protect individuals and uphold the sovereignty of a nation. However, these measures should align with the nation's commitment to upholding human rights. Arbitrary executions or torture, even of those suspected of terrorism or violent activities, are in violation of international human rights law.

Security forces have the right to defend themselves and civilians in cases where immediate threat is posed. But these actions should always adhere to the principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality. Any use of force should be the last resort and must be proportionate to the threat posed.

The Case of Jammu and Kashmir

In the context of Jammu and Kashmir, the debate around stone pelters and terrorists, and their right to life is intensely polarized. The area has been a conflict zone for decades, with stone-pelting incidents and terrorism posing significant challenges to the law and order situation.

Yet, human rights organizations have been critical of the excessive use of force, including the use of pellet guns by the security forces that often result in serious injuries or even fatalities. These organizations argue that the use of such force is a violation of the right to life and the right to live without torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

While it's undeniable that maintaining law and order is of utmost importance, the actions taken to ensure this must respect the basic human rights. A balance must be found that respects the human rights of all involved while effectively addressing the threats posed by terrorism and violence.

The Role of the Judiciary

In situations where the right to life is seemingly in conflict with national security interests, the judiciary plays a crucial role. The judiciary can evaluate the proportionality and legality of the actions taken by the state and security forces.

The Supreme Court of India has on various occasions upheld the right to life of all individuals. In the case of Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM) & Anr vs Union of India, the court declared that even an alleged criminal or terrorist enjoys the same fundamental rights as any other citizen, and it's the responsibility of the judiciary and the state to uphold these rights.

Right to Life Vs. Right to National Security

The question of national security and individual rights is a conundrum faced by democracies worldwide. Balancing the right to life and dignity of every individual, even if accused of terrorism or violent protests, against the state's duty to protect its citizens and maintain law and order, is not straightforward.

The Indian constitution does not expressly grant the right to life to individuals who threaten the peace and security of the nation. However, the law is clear that everyone, even those accused or convicted of serious crimes, has basic human rights. These rights include the right to a fair trial and the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

The state cannot arbitrarily deny these rights to individuals, even those accused of severe crimes like terrorism. The protection of human rights in the face of national security threats is a delicate balance that every democratic nation strives to maintain.

Understanding the Complexity

The debates on whether stone pelters and terrorists have the right to life or not, reflects the complexity that the Indian legal system faces. The Indian judiciary, has, over the years, upheld that the right to life cannot be denied to any person unless it interferes with the operation of the law. This right is protected under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, and it applies to everyone, including those who may pose threats to national security, like terrorists and stone pelters.

Terrorism and stone-pelting are issues of grave concern and are usually symptomatic of deeper socio-political issues that need to be addressed. However, it's crucial to understand that these actions are committed by individuals, not abstract entities. These individuals, irrespective of their actions, are entitled to certain basic human rights.

Use of Force by Security Agencies

In dealing with individuals who indulge in stone pelting and terrorism, security forces are often required to use force to maintain law and order. However, the use of force should be proportionate and as minimal as possible. If the forces' actions result in death, it can lead to serious legal implications. Moreover, allegations of excessive force can potentially erode the public's trust in law enforcement, thereby exacerbating the issues instead of resolving them.

Role of Judiciary and Fair Trial

The role of the judiciary is paramount in these cases. The justice system must ensure a fair trial for everyone, even those accused of terrorism and stone pelting. It is the court's responsibility to determine the innocence or guilt of an accused based on evidence, not public opinion. The right to a fair trial is a fundamental tenet of democracy and human rights.

Strengthening the Socio-Political Infrastructure

Resolving the issues of terrorism and stone pelting requires strengthening the socio-political infrastructure. This includes addressing the root causes like socio-economic disparity, political unrest, and lack of opportunities. Engaging with communities, increasing socio-economic development, and building trust are key to preventing these acts.

Thus, while national security is crucial, it is equally important to uphold human rights and maintain the rule of law. This balance is what democracies strive to achieve, and India, as the world's largest democracy, is no exception.


Discussions surrounding stone pelters and terrorists' right to life are complex and often polarizing. To navigate this complexity, the need for legal and policy reforms that balance individual human rights with collective security is paramount.

For instance, the security forces' standard operating procedures could be revised to ensure minimum force is used while dealing with such situations. Also, increasing transparency and accountability in the operations of security forces can go a long way in protecting human rights.

Additionally, a stronger focus on socio-economic development and addressing the root causes that lead to such violent acts can help reduce the instances of stone pelting and terrorism.

In conclusion, the statement "Stone Pelters And Terrorists Have No Right To Life" is not in line with the principles of human rights and the Indian Constitution. The challenge lies in effectively maintaining law and order and national security while upholding the human rights of all individuals.

Subhash Ahlawat
Subhash Ahlawat
Jun 12
5 min read