After 15000 injuries, Govt to train forces in pellet guns

The CM was replying to a question by MLA Anjum Fazili about the sort of training imparted to security/police officers/officials to use non-lethal weapons to maintain law and order in the state.

MUKEET AKMALI
Jammu, Publish Date: Jan 23 2017 11:50PM | Updated Date: Jan 23 2017 11:50PM
After 15000 injuries, Govt to train forces in pellet gunsFile Photo

After indiscriminate use of pellet guns and other such weapons by security forces inflicted injuries to around 15000 civilians besides killing several youth during last year’s Kashmir agitation, J&K government today said that forces will now be trained to use these “non-lethal” weapons.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, in a written reply in the Legislative Assembly, stated that “the training in use of non-lethal weapons has been introduced in the Basic Induction Courses of jawans and officers at the Police Training Centers.”

The CM was replying to a question by MLA Anjum Fazili about the sort of training imparted to security/police officers/officials to use non-lethal weapons to maintain law and order in the state.

Mehbooba, who is also J&K’s Home Minister, stated, “Besides, refresher courses in use of the non-lethal weapons, which include tear smoke guns, tear smoke grenades and pump action guns (pellet guns) are being regularly organized for Security Force Personnel and police jawans jointly in all the District Police Lines.”

“These trainings also include riot/mob control trainings to deal with the mobs, as and when required,” she adds.

While there has been demand for blanket ban on use of so-called “non-lethal weapons” which became cause of killings and blinding of dozens of youth in the 2016 unrest, the government has continued to maintain its rigid stand on the issue.

As per reports, 29 persons have died after being hit by pellet gunfire and tear-smoke shells in Kashmir since 2008—the year massive anti-India uprising took place against transfer of land to Amarnath Shrine Board by the then PDP-led government.

While 16 persons were killed by pellet guns in 2010 and 2016, 13 civilians lost their lives after being hit by teargas shells in vital parts of their bodies since 2008, details reveal.

The high incidence of civilian casualties by the so-called non-lethal weapons has raised a question mark on the methods adopted by forces while dealing with street protests in Kashmir.

The use of pellet guns during the 2016 uprising has come under sharp criticism, with international rights bodies demanding blanket ban on their use in Kashmir.

In the 2016 uprising, 13 civilians were killed by pellet gunfire and teargas shells. Of them, 10 were killed by pellets and three by tear-smoke shells after the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by forces in south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district.

Earlier last year, a youth was killed in Drugmulla area of Kupwara when police fired teargas shells to disperse people protesting against civilian killings by Army in Handwara.

In 2010, when pellet guns were used for the first time, six civilians lost their lives after being hit by pellet gunfire. This was also confirmed by a study conducted by medicos at SK Institute of Medical Sciences here. In 2008, two civilians died after being hit by teargas shells in Srinagar and Budgam districts.

In 2009, two persons were killed by teargas shells which are described as “most non-lethal weapon” by government and police authorities.

In 2010, three youngsters including Tufail Matto, whose death led to three-month-long uprising in Kashmir, died after teargas shells hit them in vital parts of body.

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