MP adivasis, India's slingshot experts, want to take on Kashmiri stone-pelters

The adivasis want the govt to form a 'Gofan battalion'.

MP adivasis, India's slingshot experts, want to take on Kashmiri stone-pelters

Bhopal: Worried over the safety of the security forces in the Kashmir valley, adivasi youth from the Jhabua district have volunteered to face the stone-pelters with their 'Gofan'.

Gofan is a looped cord with a knitted bag on one end, similar to a slingshot. Pebbles are placed in the bag and the cord is swung in the air and the small stones are released towards the target.

It looks deceptively simple but in reality is a very powerful weapon. The adivasis of Jhabua are experts in using Gofan and are know to be 100% accurate, at speeds 4-5 times than stones thrown using bare hands.

As per a report in Dainik Bhaskar, the youth of the tribal district of MP have suggested to the government that a 'Gofan battalion', consisting of tribal youth, be formed and posted in Kashmir valley to take on the stone-pelters.

With questions being asked about the use of pellet guns, the Gofan battalion will be the perfect answer to the Pakistan-sponsored misguided youth who indulge in stone pelting, they said.

Faced with the masters of the art of 'stone pelting', the misguided youth of the valley will have no option but to retreat, feel the adivasi youth. Security forces operating in Kashmir often face violent protests and stone pelting mobs, especially during stiff resistance from the locals, when they are engaged in a gunfight with militants, who at times manage to escape with the help of the crowd.

While pellet guns still remains an option, the security forces are in the process of acquiring non-penetrative plastic bullets for crowd control or stone-pelting mobs to reduce collateral damage during counter-insurgency operations.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat had earlier warned of tough action against protesters who hurled stones at security personnel engaged in anti-militancy operations or targeted their families.