In Kashmir, CRPF looks at alternatives to pellet guns
The dreaded pellet guns in Kashmir might be history if the CRPF has its way. Officials say much-maligned pellet guns will give way to chili bombs and ‘soft-nosed’ tear gas shells to avoid collateral losses during the paramilitary action. CRPF personnel in the Valley, however, seem to have reservations about the new plan. Many across the Valley, including girl students, took to pelting security personnel with stones after the encounter killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in 2016. Paramilitary forces will now shun pellet guns in favour of “soft-nosed” tear gas shells and chili bombs. The tear gas shells will have a softer plastic head aimed at reducing chances of inflicting grievous injuries on protesters. As per an officer of Paramilitary, “The plastic of the soft-nosed shells melts very easily, releasing a gas that helps disperse the crowds. So the shells cannot be fatal in themselves. Secondly, we have made advancements in tear smoke munitions (TSM) that can be used more prominently than other crowd-control weapons.” Chili shells are already being used in the Valley.