CRPF SENDS PLASTIC BULLETS TO KASHMIR
The CRPF has sent 21,000 rounds of newly developed and “less lethal” plastic bullets to the Kashmir Valley to tackle street protesters and stone-pelters. Developed by the DRDO and manufactured by the Ordnance factory in Pune, the bullets can be fitted in the AK series of assault rifles and will be an alternative to the much-criticised pellet shotguns. “Tests have shown that these plastic bullets are less lethal. This will reduce our dependence on pellet guns... for crowd control,” CRPF Director General (DG) R R Bhatnagar said.
THE Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has sent 21,000 rounds of newly-developed and “less lethal” plastic bullets to the Kashmir Valley to tackle protests there, the paramilitary force’s top officer said.
The bullets, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by the Ordnance factory in Pune, can be fitted to the AK series of assault rifles and will be an alternative to the much-criticised pellet shotguns.
“Tests have shown that these plastic bullets are less lethal. This will reduce our dependence on pellet guns and other non-lethal weapons used for crowd control,” CRPF director-general R R Bhatnagar said. He said this will be the newest less lethal ammunition the force has introduced in the Valley. “About 21,000 rounds have just been sent to our units,” he added.
The CRPF, deployed in counter-insurgency and law and order operations in Jammu and Kashmir, had ordered the plastic bullets so that troops can just replace lethal metal bullets and use the plastic ones.
Bhatnagar said both AK-47 and AK-56 rifles are used by CRPF units in the Kashmir Valley. The bullets have been prepared in such a calibre that they fit the barrel, he added. “As soon as a stone pelting incident is encountered, troops just need to change the bullets and fire,” he said.
Bhatnagar added that the force has not done away with the other non-lethal weapons and is getting more pump-action guns fitted with metal deflectors so that pellet injuries are not inflicted above the waist of a protester.
“Even our specialised anti-riot unit, the Rapid Action Force can use it at some point of time. We will see how to go about it,” the DG said.
The use of pellets in the Kashmir Valley came under heavy criticism after protesters suffered grievous injuries, including blindness in some cases.
The police of the 21st century cannot be a brute force. It will have to be a civilised force Rajnath Singh, Union home minister