New Delhi/ Srinagar: Pellet guns “may be” used by the government forces in Kashmir valley to disperse the protesters if their alternatives fail, the government said on Tuesday.
Interestingly, the pellet guns were being liberally used in Chadoora pocket of central Kashmir when the minister’s reply was tabled in the Lok Sabha. More than 35 persons were hit with bullets and pellets and three of them succumbed to injuries.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj G Ahir said that the government had constituted an expert committee on July 26, 2016 to explore other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons.
“The commitee has submitted its report and the recommendations have been taken into account by the government for appropriate implementation.
“Accordingly, the government has decided that the security forces will resort to various measures such as using Pava- chilli (shells and grenades), Stun Lac (shells and grenades) and tear smoke shells to disperse the rioters,” he said.
The Minister added: “However, if these measures prove to be ineffective in dispersing of rioters, use of pellet guns may be resorted to.”
He was replying to question whether the government is planning to take a re-look at the non-lethal weapons used by the security forces as scores of people have lost their vision due to shots fired from pellet guns in the Kashmir valley.
—With inputs from PTI