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Pune 28 Feb 2017 (PCP NEWS NEW DELHI): Central Reserve Police Force will use the new Deflector fitted Guns during various operations to minimize injuries after Having faced criticism for using pellet guns, which came under intense scrutiny for causing severe eye injuries to protesters in Jammu and Kashmir, said CRPF Director General S Durga Prasad

Durga Prasad said that, the guns now have metallic Deflectors placed at the gun’s muzzle, which ensure that the pellets fired don’t rise above the “Point of Aim”, he further said it is modifying its weapon so that the side effects can be greatly brought down, besides this we are creating a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for handling violent crowds in the state, Weapons such as the use of Water Cannons, Stun and Stinger Grenades and modifying the Chilli based Munition, PAVA shells, are being planned as part of the new SOP. In comparison to the old SOP, we have fine tuned things which will be more effective, that these shells were found effective in certain areas, certain recommendations have been given to the BSF to make them better, said S Durga Prasad.

The Inspector General of CRPF Training Atul Karwal also said that, We have also instructed our troops to fire at the feet of the protesters and now with the deflectors, 90 per cent of the Pellets hit a person below the waist, so vital areas such as the eyes and the chest are not hit.

Although the CRPF asserts that stone pelting incidents have come down this year as compared to 2016 and the situation in Jammu and & Kashmir is not as bad, the force being one of the lead agencies in handling law and order is preparing for any outcome. The CRPF is currently testing these new pellet guns and will soon come operational and replace the older versions. These guns were used during the violent protests, following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani last year. The CRPF is also using PAVA shells, a chilli based munition, which was seen as an alternative to pellet guns for controlling protesters in Jammu and Kashmir.

An officer explained that currently a problem with the shells is that they are often thrown back at us by the protesters. One option is that the body be made of plastic, so when it is fired it will melt. This will lessen the opportunities to throw back the shell, said the officer. Besides this CRPF is also working on a new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Some of the new measures adopted in the new SOP are, The use of water cannon in a narrow alley, especially during winters, Stun grenades which will explode and emanate tear gas, Stinger grenades which will throw small ball bearings to prevent protesters from picking it up, Multiple shell launchers that can accommodate and fire six shells in one go, If tear smoke is not effective, then will use kinetic energy based weapons, Rubber bullets, Also to aim weapons below the waist, Pellet guns to be used towards the end. PCP/DJ 10 30

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