J&K security personnel to get improvised pellet guns soon

J&K security personnel to get improvised pellet guns soon

Security personnel deployed in Jammu and Kashmir may soon get improvised pellet guns with deflectors to minimise injuries on protesters who have been “obstructing operations following threats from terrorists”.

Outgoing Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General K Durga Prasad said the establishment is working on modified pellet guns which will be “less lethal” compared to the earlier version.

Initial reports from the Border Security Force, which is working on a new design, pointed out that the modified pellet guns are “good”.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs has not asked us to stop using pellet guns. That decision will be taken at the ground level. PAVA shells, introduced as a substitute to pellet guns, are not the only solution. We need to use something else too. The CRPF personnel on the ground will decide whether to use PAVA or pellets, depending on the situation,” Prasad, who will retire on Tuesday, told reporters.

“Deflectors are being installed on pellet guns so that the fire remains on the lower side of the body and does not hit the eyes or face of protesters. We hope to bring down the margin of error from 40% to 2%,” he said.

Officials said the new guns would not allow protesters to hurl the shells back at forces. The use of pellet guns had run into controversy after a large number of youths was injured, with many losing their eyes, after the CPRF used pellet shots during the protests following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

According to the director general of the CRPF, 2,580 personnel were injured, including 122 grievously, in the violence. There were 47 instances of grenade lobbing from protesters besides 43 cases of use of petrol/acid bombs by stone-pelters. In addition, there were 142 attacks on CRPF camps.

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