Srinagar, May 20: At a time when security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir have to face stone pelting by civilians on a daily basis, a special training programme was hosted by the Central Reserve Police Force Zonal Training Centre in Nagrota for its jawans on Saturday.
The training for the CRPF jawans specially focused on how to tackle stone pelting and unlawful gathering. During the programme, trainers told security personnel that they should take utmost care for the lives of the people in the crowd. No civilians should be harmed while dealing with stone pelting incidents, added the trainers.
"Our first priority is to always protect the lives of citizens in every situation. We always keep a human angle and it is our duty to protect the civilians. We can never compare a civilian's action with a terrorist," DK Jha, in-charge, CRPF Zonal Training Centre in Nagrota (J&K), told ANI.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police conducted the special training. All the CRPF men who are posted in Kashmir have to go through a rigorous pre-induction training to handle different situations in the Valley.
These men are regular CRPF soldiers who have served in many parts of the country but are trained specifically to handle the situations. The CRPF trains there men in special 'Standard Operating Procedure' SOPs that is to be followed when they are handling the situation of stone pelting.
There are seven SOPs they are trained for:
1. Negotiating with the crowd, talk to them and make them understand what they are doing is wrong.
2. Use of water cannon.
3. Use of 'tear smoke'.
4. 'Lathi' Charge.
5. Use of Rubber Bullet. (Lower Body)
6. Use of Pump Action Gun (Lower body).
7. Use bullets on lower body parts. (Legs only)
Jha added that the situation in Kashmir is worse than any other state across the country and, therefore, it has been decided by the senior officers to open a Special Training School where the soldiers will be trained to tackle issues related to law and order.
"We train them 'Progressive Use of Force', where they are told to hold the crowd with patience and make them calm. Gradually, the force is increased and we try to disperse the crowd as patiently as possible without much pressure. According to the situation, developments take place," he said.
Jha added that it is made sure that these soldiers remain mentally and physically fit.
"We also want to change their perception so that they spontaneously act on the field in any situation," he said.