Srinagar: As many as 3665 ‘pump action 12 bore shot.9’ cartridges and 8650 tear smoke shells have been used by CRPF against protesters in Kashmir Valley from July 8 to August 11, Inspector General of the paramilitary forces, Atul Karwal, said on Wednesday.
As each cartridge contains around 450 pellets, it means 1649250 pellets have been fired by CRPF on protestors during the time.
In a report filed before the high court, he also revealed that 158 stun shells, 277 shun grenades, 840 tear smoke grenades, 2671 plastic pellets and 1715 rubber bullets were also used during this period.
“12 Bore Pump Action gun is capable of firing various ammunitions of 12 Bore. These are provided to 10 RAF (Rapid Action Force, an anti riot element of CRPF) battalions and to other General Duty (GD) battalions in all states including J&K for law and order duties,” he said. These weapons are also available with Jammu and Kashmir police.
“The ammunition, Shot no-9, is the least lethal among all the shots produced by the ordinance factory board,” he said. The pellets, he said, follow a definite path and contrary to fire from a rifled weapon, do not remain together for a single point of impact but get spread out with distance and are “designated to hit more protesters is a non-lethal fashion.”
“It is unfortunate that some of these pellets have happened to hit protesters in eyes,” he said.
Karnal also claimed that the paramilitary troopers resort to pellet only after exhausting other “levels of use of force.”
The CRPF personnel resort to tear gas, rubber bullets and plastic pellets before resorting to pellet guns,” he said. The statement runs contrary to claims by people of Beerwah who on Tuesday said that the CRPF resorted to firing only after firing two tear smoke shells. Four persons were killed instantly while as many others suffered injuries.
Karnal also claimed that there were 252 attacks on CRPF and nine of them were due to grenades and firing from ‘mob’.