After over 60 deaths on the streets of Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday asked security forces to find non-lethal but effective means of controlling mobs.
Singh told a conference of police chiefs that there was a need to revisit standard operating procedures and crowd control measures to deal with public agitations.
"We cannot have an approach of one size fits all," the Prime Minister told the conference of directors general of police in context of the security forces' handling of public agitations.
Nearly 65 people — most of them protesters — have been killed in police firing in the state since June 11, fuelling further protests in the Valley. Security forces are expected to fire below the waist to avoid loss of life.
But a senior police officer said the personnel were probably not adequately trained to guarantee accuracy each time they opened fire. In some instances, deaths took place because the protesters were crouching.
On Thursday, Singh also asked Home Minister P Chidambaram to set up a task force to come up with recommendations in two-three months that could examine how other countries dealt with this challenge.
For instance, Daniel Reisner, former head of the international law department of the Israeli Defence Forces' Advocate General's Corps, recently emphasised that Israeli forces were not allowed to open fire at stone-throwing mobs.
Reisner told a group of Indian journalists they developed non-lethal weapons to disperse and identify violent mobsters. As a last resort, forces identified instigators and could fire only at them.