The Central Reserve Police Force, at the forefront of maintaining law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir for last two weeks, on Monday apologised for the eye injuries caused to the Kashmiris due to the use of pellet guns in the valley. The force, however, added that it would continue to use this weapon in extreme situations 'carefully', while hoping such situation doesn't arise in future. "We feel very sorry for them as youngsters have to bear injuries due to the firing of pellet guns. We ourselves are trying to use it in bare minimum so that there are fewer injuries. But we use them under the extreme situation when crowd control fails by other means," CRPF DG K Durga Prasad said while addressing the force's annual press conference in Delhi. He also said that the ground troops are trained "not to be emotional", while reacting very rationally to such a situation. While there is nothing such as "non-lethal" weapon, the pellet guns are the least lethal available with them, he said adding that J&K is the only place where 'stone pelting' is done in such magnitude and the jawans have to use the pellet guns when the situation goes out of control. The DG said instructions have been given to all force personnel that pellet guns, whenever used in Kashmir, should be fired below the knee level. "The injuries have taken place as the force had to resort to firing of pellet guns when the protesters come very close and there is a possibility of loss of lives either side," he said. A large number of youths have been injured in the last fortnight when CRPF personnel used pellet guns to control violent protesters in the wake of killing of Burhan Wani, a top militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. CRPF received widespread criticism for the use of this category of non-lethal weapon, prompting home minister Rajnath Singh to announce in Parliament that a committee will be set up to review use of pellet guns and find an alternative to it. He said 1,051 CRPF personnel were injured due to stone pelting and other forms of attacks by protesters in last two weeks. He added that state government didn't provide inputs that a tense situation would arise after Wani's death.
CRPF director general K Durga Prasad on Monday apologised for injuries caused to people by use of pellet gun in Kashmir but said they would continue to use it. His statements comes a day after home minister Rajnath Singh's two-day Kashmir visit.
CRPF DG said they were studying the versions of pellet guns available worldwide to identify the less lethal options. "We feel sorry for the pellet injuries in Kashmir. CRPF personnel have been asked to aim below the knee level. We are examin ..