Government Asks Paramilitary Forces to Use Plastic Bullets in Kashmir
New Delhi: The government has asked paramilitary forces to use plastic bullets instead of pellet guns in the Kashmir valley. The move comes after the Centre assured the Supreme Court that as per the standard operating procedure, pellet guns are only used as the second last option to ward off crowd. PAVA shells were introduced as an alternative but were not successful.
"We have reiterated the SOP to the central forces that pellet guns should be used only when all other measures fail," a top home ministry official told CNN news18.
Plastic bullets are hollow-based plastic cylinders and are designed like a flat nose. It is meant to cause pain but not a serious injury and can result in contusions and abrasions.
The non-lethal weapon was first introduced in 2010 when violence broke out in the valley. Pellet guns were also introduced around the same time, but the casualties post-Burhan Wani's death forced centre on the back foot on the issue of pellet guns.
PAVA shells or chilly bombs were then suggested by a committee, but paramilitary forces on the ground called the shells ineffective.
"We are also sending modified PAVA shells to the valley, along with plastic bullets. Bullets can be used only as a last resort," an officer said.
The decision to introduce these non-lethal weapons comes amid videos showing forces shooting stone pelters down from close quarters in the last few days.
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