CRPF Sees Pellet As The Only Life Saver, Delhi Paper

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SRINAGAR:To control the massive civil uprising following the killing of popular militant commander Burhan Wani on July 08, 2016 evening in Kokernag area of South Kashmir, the para-military CRPF forces have used at least 2,102 pellet cartridges up to July 22.

A report in The Indian Express said that over 50 per cent of the 317 people, who sustained pellet injuries, have been hit in the eye.

Kashmir is witnessing renewed civil uprising, “much intensified than 2010 and 2008”, since July 09.

The government forces have used live ammunition “to control protestors” which resulted in killing of at least 52 civilians in last 17 days. Over 3000 have been injured and are lying admitted hospital beds across Kashmir and many have been discharged who recuperating in their homes.

In all this over a fortnight-mayhem which Kashmir streets witnessed, epicentered in South Kashmir, use of pellets has come under sharp reaction as it has already consumed two lives while maiming hundreds. Over 50 youths are set to lose their eye sight.

In all this, the para-military CRPF has been vying for it saying “they have no other alternative”. This, despite the fact, that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has announced for review of the lethal gun.

Although forces agencies have been “repeating” pellet gun is a “non-lethal” weapon, however, the CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad, in his interview to The Indian Express “accepted” that it was “lethal”.

“They (pellets) are the last resort for us. Only after all non-lethal options are exhausted, pellet guns are used. But we are pained to see the blindings and injuries to young people. We are looking at how we can minimise the damage,” he had said.

The report said that the use of pellet gun comes only after tear smoke shells. The CRPF has revealed that use of pellets is “the most effective weapon” against stone pelters.

The non-lethal weapons used by CRPF in the Valley include plastic pellet guns, rubber bullets, stun grenades, multi-button shells, blank rounds, pepper balls and capsicum grenades. All have been used in the recent protests, the CRPF sources told the New Delhi based newspaper.

The forces started using pellet guns, once used for hunting by Britishers in Kashmir, in 2010 mass uprising.

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