The use of life-threatening 12 bore pump action guns with pellet shots is set to grow in a big way in the Valley.
DNA India, Thursday reported that, “Currently, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has 640 pump action guns, widely known as pellet guns, but in the coming months more than 4,000 will be procured.”
DNA’s report while quoting a CRPF Commander states that, “Earlier, pump action guns were available with only those units facing civilian protests and demonstrations like those in downtown Srinagar. It has become necessary that every company has adequate non-lethal weapons. Now, these guns will form part of every company.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs had promised last year to restrict the use of pellet shots against protesters and explore other options, but in January, it made fresh authorisation of 4,949 pump action guns for CRPF units deployed as Rapid Action Force, and Mahila Batallion in J&K, taking the total number of pump action guns to 5,589.
The report further states that, “Around nine pump action guns will be available with every company (around 120 personnel). More than six lakh matching cartridges, commonly referred to as pellet-shots, have also been authorised, up from 1.25 lakh last year.”
Last summer, an estimated 600 civilians, including schoolchildren, were blinded after being hit by pellet shots in the eyes and above waist-level, in the mass protests triggered following the killing of a local Hizbul Mujaheedin commander Burhan Wani.
Another 8,000 were grievously injured with multiple pellets lodged in their vital body parts. This time round, metal deflectors will be used so that pellet shots are not dispersed above waist level.