Army to use non-lethal weapons against riot in JK

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Srinagar, Aug 22: Kashmir police and paramilitary forces deployed in the valley will change from lethal to non-lethal weapons after 62 civilians lost their lives in the ongoing unrest.

The new non-lethal weapons include Taser guns, pellets and pepper balls. The US-made Taser guns can discharge a nine-volt current that momentarily immobilizes a protester so that he can be taken into custody without causing any grievous hurt.

The pepper balls can discharge highly irritating fumes that will force the mobs to disperse and the Pump Action Gun (PAG) will fire pellets at the protesters, which will not cause any deaths.

On Saturday, Aug 21, an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane brought an assortment of non-lethal weapons to Srinagar and this will be immediately distributed for riot control across the valley.

But many officials are not sure about the efficacy of these these non-lethal weapons. They described that these weapons can also cause mortality.

"To tell the truth, there is nothing like a non-lethal weapon as long as it is used from a close range. Unless the mandatory distance of contact between the rioter and the riot controller is maintained, all so-called non-lethal weapons can cause mortality," said an official.

"Some of the weapons like dye sprinkled through water cannons and pepper balls can be used without any fear of causing mortality during crowd control operations, but the debate continues whether these two items have any efficacy at all on crowds bent on even snatching firearms from the deployed security men," official added.

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