MHA instructs security forces to use plastic bullets for crowd control in valley

MHA instructs security forces to use plastic bullets for crowd control in valley

Amid rising violence in Kashmir, Government has instructed security personnel in the valley to increasingly use plastic bullets and resort to pellet guns only as a second last resort.
Official sources said the decision was taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after consulting the CRPF, which is on the ground in the Valley where there is a spike in confrontation between the forces and public.
Assuring that it will ensure supply of plastic bullets and PAVA shells and PAVA shells, sources said, the government wants the forces to use the pellet guns sparingly.
According to them, plastic bullets would not penetrate and it should be used before resorting to pellet guns so as to ensure minimum wound.
The controversial pellet guns, which gained notoriety in Kashmir valley after its bullet blinded several protesters, was being used less compared to earlier times, sources said.
Though there were vociferous demand for its ban, the government did not do so but advised the forces to use it less. Instead, it supplied PAVA shells but security personnel had raised doubts about its efficiency in crowd control.
The government's new directions came against the backdrop of videos emerging in social media in favour and against forces.
One of the videos showed personnel tying a Kashmiri youth to the jeep they were travelling and using him as a human shield against stone-pelters. Some other videos showed locals attacking security personnel.
Sources said the MHA has sought reports from ITBP and CRPF regarding videos of its personnel being kicked and abused in Kashmir on return from election duties. To save these personnel, officials claimed, the forces had to use a local, whom they claimed as a stone pelter, as a human shield.
Asked about whether it would look into a report prepared by a group of eminent citizens led by former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on resolving Kashmir, sources said, the government does not have any plans as of now to consider it. Sinha and others had visited Kashmir earlier in a private initiative.

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