Lethal pellet guns have already caused many deaths in Kashmir. In search of its alternatives, the Centre on Monday has asked the security forces to use plastic bullets in crowd control operations.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has instructed the security forces deployed there to stop using pellet guns, instead use plastic bullets.
According to the government sources, pellet guns will continue to be used as the last option in the non-lethal category.
The instructions came after a high-level meeting chaired by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Senior Home Ministry officials informed thousands of plastic bullets have been already produced and send to the valley for use by the security forces. These bullets are non-penetrative and it can be fired from the INSAS rifles.
Violent protests, stone pelting is a common thing in the valley. The security forces often face stone pelting protesters when they are engaged in gun battle with the militants. With the help of the protesters, the militants managed to escape.
The security forces have been also using PAVA shells, the non-lethal weapon to control the mobs.
PAVA (Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide) is chilli-based ammunition. It is less lethal and immobilises the target for some time. The CRPF and J&K police used this weapon after the protest in the wake of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Other less-lethal weapons that can be used as an alternative to pellet guns include dye marker grenade which causes sensory injury to the target. It also leaves a dye mark on the target. A new non-lethal weapon is a grenade packed with scientifically prepared spicy jelly, it causes irritation in the eyes.
3G and 4G services were snapped
The 3G and 4G services were disrupted in the valley on Monday. The state government snapped the services after some video clips were uploaded on social media sites. Some video clips showed security forces allegedly attacking civilians and some of them showed youths heckling security personnel.
The General Manager of BSNL, DK Agarwal said, “The services were closed in the afternoon when we received a communication from the government.’’
The government also discussed to block the internet in Kashmir to stop the circulation of videos and social media messages asking the locals to join the protest at the encounter sites.
The officials who attended the meeting discarded any immediate move to stop internet services. They argue this type of videos can be uploaded from any locations.