While J&K police issues a daily handout saying the situation in Valley is "under control", Kashmir's police chief Syed Javid Mujtaba Gillani admitted on Saturday that the Valley "continues to remain tense" and that the ongoing "protests are of extreme nature and difficult to control."
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Gillani said so far there has been "no alternative to pellets used for crowd control and this is the only option after 'lathis' and teargas as Valley protests are of an extreme nature and difficult to control."
Nevertheless, the IGP said, police are waiting for the report of the central committee constituted by the Union Home Ministry on finding alternative to pellets.
"Lathis are obviously our first choice and then the tear-gas shells. We don't use bullets," he said. "We do use pellets and there is no other option when protests are of an extreme nature."
Referring to Friday's massive protests and clashes across Kashmir that left over 120 people injured, Gillani said: "What option does the police have when there are 93 incidents of extreme protests followed by violence in a single day? We use pellets in such extreme circumstances, otherwise we stick to 'lathis' and tear-gas shells only."
He admitted the situation in Kashmir is same as it was on July 8, when Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani was killed. Burhan's killing triggered massive unrest across Kashmir, resulting in death of over 50 youth in action by forces while nearly 6000 civilians and forces personnel have got injured. Over 150 civilians have suffered grave injuries in their eyes with over 20 of them on the verge of losing their eyesight forever.
On indiscriminate use of pellets, the IGP said police is waiting for the report of Central Committee. "We have no alternatives, yet we are assessing the situation and using pellets in extreme situations," he claimed. "There are JK officials in the Committee—one IG from JK police, another IG from the CRPF and a few more officials."
Asked whether police would look into allegations of excessive use of force that led to high number of civilian killings, the IGP said: "We didn't get time to carry out this exercise due to the prevailing situation. We will definitely look into that aspect as soon as peace prevails."