Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

No blanket ban on pellet guns in Kashmir

Narada Desk | August 30, 2016 7:30 am Print
“There will be no blanket ban on the use of pellet guns. At the most, it will be used in the rarest of rare cases. We cannot make our security forces a sitting duck,” a top government official said
Srinagar: Security forces in Srinagar, parts of the city saw curfew lifted while the valley remained tensed for 46th day

Despite Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s assurance to the people in Kashmir of looking for an alternative for pellet guns, it is unlikely to be completely banned, ‘The Hindu’ has reported. Pellet guns, which are being used by security forces for crowd control in Jammu and Kashmir, will not be completely banned but will be fired in the “rarest of rare cases”, a top government official said on Monday.

The official said senior government functionaries decided to withdraw the frequent use of the guns following consultations with security forces in the Kashmir Valley, where thousands of people have been injured by them.

According to ‘The Hindu’, around 51 per cent of civilians injured in the ongoing crisis were hit by pellets, official data has revealed.

A seven-member expert committee headed by T.V.S.N Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), that was constituted on July 26 to look into the alternatives to pellet guns, has submitted its report to the Home Secretary.

“There will be no blanket ban on the use of pellet guns. At the most, it will be used in the rarest of rare cases. We cannot make our security forces a sitting duck,” the official said.

The expert panel, set up by the Home Ministry to find an alternative to pellet guns, is believed to have zeroed in on ‘PAVA shells’, a chilli-based ammunition, which is less lethal and immobilises the target temporarily.

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