The Central Reserve Police will get an additional 4,000 'pump guns' to counter frenzied mobs and stone pelters on the streets of Jammu and Kashmir. The current number of non-lethal pump-action rifles with the police is 640. The decision was taken in a bid to equip every company of the Central Reserve Police Force with the non-lethal weapon.
Every company would now have at least nine such guns. Apart from this, six lakh pellet shots too have been authorised when compared with the 1.25 lakh available the previous year.
The controversial pellet gun had come under severe criticism after security forces were blamed of blinding over 600 people in the Valley. However the CRPF made the request for additional 'pump guns' and pellets after it was found that the protests were intensifying. The CRPF in its request to the Home ministry cited incidents of police stations being attacked and burnt. "We did not have adequate ammunition to counter them. Hence the request for additional non-lethal weapons is being made," the CRPF told the ministry for Home Affairs.
The requisition comes just a few days after it was announced that the new pellet gun will have a deflector on the muzzle to prevent the pellets from ascending. This would ensure that the shrapnel does not hit a person above the abdomen region.
The security personnel using pellet guns have also been told to aim at the feet of the protestors and not the abdomen area. The deflector would ensure that the pellet does not ascend. The CRPF has asked the BSF workshop to deploy a metal deflector on to the muzzle.
The paramilitary forces had initially tried introducing the lesser lethal pelargonic acid vanillylamide shells. However it was found that the PAVA gun was not effective to disperse the protestors. The CRPF then decided that the more effective way of handling the situation would be to modify the pellet gun with a metal deflector on the muzzle.