Jammu and Kashmir Police are preparing for another possible “summer unrest” in Kashmir following the separatists’ slogan "khoon ka badla June main lenge” (Will avenge the blood spilt in the month of June).
At least five battalions (5000 cops) are being provided with special training to deal with stone-throwers, rioters and violent protests in Kashmir valley. Besides ‘lathis’ (sticks), the cops are being equipped with “less lethal” and “non-lethal” weaponry.
Pump action gun, triple action teargas grenades, anti-riot guns with plastic pellets, gas guns causing inflammations, tear smoke shells thrown with hands and multi-barrel smoke shell launchers are the latest equipments procured for cops to reduce causality number and for their own safety.
The measures have been initiated keeping in mind bloody summer of 2010 when over 100 people, most of them youth, were killed while over 3000 cops had received grievous injuries, rendering scores of them unfit for jobs.
Violent protests had erupted in Kashmir after the killing of Tufail Ahmad Matoo, (17) at Rajouri Kadal on June 11, 2010. He was hit by a teargas shell at his head.
Cops, who have been specially trained for ‘anti-militancy’ operations, are also facing a new challenge of maintaining law and order with “minimum possible” damage to lives and property.
An “extensive training” is being provided to the cops at Sunjwan area, in the outskirts of Jammu city where both male and female cops are being prepared for stone-throwing and rioting incidents.
Scores of female cops, in civvies, act as protestors and shout slogans in favour of their demands. These cops throw stones on another group of female cops equipped with all weaponry and anti-riot gear. These female are being trained to deal stone throwers, without causing any casualty.
Similarly, male cops wearing ‘anti-riot gear’ are being trained for “rioting and stone-throwing” incidents so that they control the crowd in “much better” manner.
Khalid Hussain, who is getting training at Sunjwan, told HT, “We were not equipped with sufficient weapons last year but this year, we are getting special training to maintain law and order situation. We are hopeful that we will be successful in reducing human loss in near future.”
“The training is going on in a big way in Jammu as well as in Srinagar by way of reorientation courses and by way of new equipments,” Director General of Police (DGP) J&K, Kuldeep Khoda said.
He disclosed the department will be able to complete the training of five battalions in “law and order methods”, especially in the use of “non-lethal” weapons by the end of March, two months ahead of separatists’ call for “revenge”.