1.3 million pellets used in 32 days, CRPF tells HC

A security man with apellet gun.– File PHOTO

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) told the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday that it used 1.3 million pellets in 32 days in Kashmir to control street protests.

In response to a public interest litigation seeking a ban on pellet guns that has left more than 400 injured in their eyes, the CRPF in its affidavit admitted that “it was difficult to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) given the nature of the protests.”

It said 3,000 pellet cartridges, or around 1.3 million pellets, were fired from the pump action guns.
While informing the High Court that “pellet guns were introduced in 2010 as an accepted weapon of riot control,” it said: “In case this (pellet shotgun) is withdrawn, the CRPF would have no recourse in extreme situations but to open fire with rifles, which may cause more fatalities.”

The CRPF said it has used 14 types of “less lethal and non-lethal” munitions to control crowds, including oleoresin grenades, pepper balls, stun grenades and electric shells.

According to the CRPF Inspector General, 8,650 tear-smoke shells were used from July 8 to August 11. ”Around 2,671 plastic pellets have been used too,” he said.

The CRPF, while admitting that the weapon should be aimed below the waist, argued that “the situation prevailing on the streets during the ongoing law and order incident is dynamic and mobile.”

The use of pellet guns has come under sharp focus both from political class as well as human rights bodies.

In another development, the body of a youth, Shabir Ahmad Mir, who was killed in firing by security forces, was exhumed on Thursday morning on the directions of the Supreme Court.

The police claim Mir died when security forces fire from non-lethal weapons. However, the family alleged that Deputy Superintendent of Police Yasir Qadri shot dead their son in the house “in cold blood.”

The body was exhumed under the supervision of the District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Rashid Ali. The family members of Mir were also present.

The body was later shifted to Government Medical College, where scan and X-ray was conducted.

Last week, the SC ordered the exhumation to “ascertain cause of death”.
Source - The hindu

Follow by Email