The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has decided to use less lethal plastic bullets in Jammu and Kashmir to deal with stone pelters and protestors. The force has faced criticism for using pellet guns. Over a hundred people and security personnel have been treated for severe injures after security forces fired pellet guns to contain violence triggered after the killing of Hijbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani last year.
During the 25th anniversary celebration of Rapid Action Force (RAF) in Meerut on Saturday, CRPF Director General RR Bhatnagar said around 21,000 rounds of plastic bullets has been sent to the Valley. The bullets were developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, and manufactured by the Pune-based Ordnance factory. The bullets can be fitted in the AK assault rifles as an alternative to the much-criticised pellet shotguns.
Bhatnagar also said the plastic bullets have undergone various tests that proved them as less lethal. "Even our specialised anti-riot unit Rapid Action Force can use it at some point to render their duties. We will see how to go about it in the future," he said.
The force, deployed in counter-insurgency and law and order operations in Jammu and Kashmir, had ordered for the plastic bullets so that troops can just replace lethal metal bullets and use the new plastic ones.
The CRPF chief also said that force has not done away with other non-lethal weapons and is getting more pump action guns fitted with metal deflectors so that pellet injuries do not go above the waist.
Also Home Minister Rajnath Singh present during the occasion said that police cannot be a brute force in 21st century and it will have to work like a "civilised force".
Singh asked the forces to use less lethal ways to control mob and law and order situations and urged them to adopt technological and psychological solutions to deal with such circumstances.
"To control the situation, the security forces should not only be dependent on use of force. It's an age of technology and it should be used. There can be even psychological ways to control the mob or to divert it. I hope the senior officials of our forces would consider to adopt these ways," he said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that a help of minimum Rs 1 crore will be given to families of all the jawans who are martyred while serving nation.