Only ASI level officers to fire teargas shells
In Dock, Police Mulls Reform Measures To Tame Cops
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, June 19: In the line of fire for killing numerous teenagers by teargas shells during past two years, Police is mulling reform measures including refresher course and special training sessions for its officers and lower officials to avoid civilian causalities particularly while dealing with law and order situations.
Highly placed sources said the decision has been taken after the autopsy of Tufial Ahmad Matoo confirmed that his death was caused by a teargas canister.
“Unfortunately, sometimes in the heat of the moment, our cops violate the standard operational procedure and fire the teargas canisters and rubber pellets directly on the mob which result in causalities and fatal injuries. We have taken strong note of the killings by teargas shells and other such propellants and devised a comprehensive training sessions to enable them to effectively deal even extreme situations,” a senior police officer, wishing anonymity, told Greater Kashmir.
Police has also decided that the teargas canisters will now onwards be fired by an officer of a level of assistant sub-inspector. “This will ensure effective implementation of SOPs. We will be taking stringent action under law against the cops and officers who violate the rules and regulation,” he said.
Tufail’s was not the first killing by a teargas shell fired by police. On January 31, a teenager, Wamiq Farooq, of Rainawari was killed in a similar way putting the police in dock. During the Shopian agitation last year, Nisar Ahmad of Barzulla here was also killed by a police shell. Numerous such killings occurred during the Amarnath land agitation in 2008.
Shabir Ahmad, a youth protesting against Wamiq’s killing, was critically injured after a rubber bullet hit his head while another teenager Basit’s spleen was removed after a teargas shell pierced through.
Officials said the Standard Operational Procedure empowers the cops and other security agencies to fire the teargas shells in a parabolic way with the objective of dispersing the mob without causing physical injuries or loss of life.
The training sessions will comprise refresher courses on various aspects, including crowd control management and counseling. “During the past nearly three years, police had to deal with a tough situation in the Valley. There was no time for brushing up their skills to tackle mobs. It is the right time to take the initiative for better management of law and order and larger public interest,” he said.
Some doctors in SMHS and SKIMS, preferring anonymity, said during past few years most of the injured in police action had been hit by teargas canisters and rubber pellets in upper parts of the body.
“Many youths who had suffered critical injuries on their head due to teargas shells subsequently lost their eyesight and hearing power. Some youth had suffered severe damage to their veins and tissues on chest, arms and stomach,” they said.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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