New Delhi: K Durga Prasad, Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), has said they “feel sorry” for using pellet guns in Kashmir but added that their hands were tied.
Prasad said no such thing as a “non-lethal” weapon exists and that pellet guns were the “least lethal” option which the forces have in their hands.
“We feel very sorry for them as youngsters have to bear injuries due to the firing of pellet guns. We ourselves are trying to use it in bare minimum so that there are less injuries. But we use them under the extreme situation when crowd control fails by other means,” he said, as per The Indian Express.
“Everybody feels bad when youngsters get hit. But still, we will have to use it (pellet guns) in extreme situation as of now. We hope that any (extreme) situation does not arise (in future),” the CRPF chief added.
The CRPF DG stressed that all their men deployed in Kashmir had basic training and were told to fire pellet guns below the knee.
Prasad said 114 companies, or over 11,000 personnel, of the CRPF have been positioned in Kashmir to bring the situation under control.
Most of these personnel have been pulled out midway through their training, he said, adding this has affected the “annual training”.
“Our annual training has suffered as we are in continuous deployment. As of today, all our training companies in Kashmir are deployed to control the unrest there. Training companies from other states have also been pulled out,” Prasad said.
As per reports, nearly 317 people have sustained pellet injuries, most of them in the eye, in the Valley in the recent clashes following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.