MP’s tribal youths to fight against Kashmiri stone pelters with slingshots?

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Bhopal, April 21: Tribal youths of Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh want to fight against stone pelters in Kashmir with slingshots. In fact, Bhil youngsters have approached the state government and have offered their expertise in using slingshots to help security forces in Kashmir to counter stone pelters.

"Bhil youths of MP's Jhabua in an appeal to the government have offered to take on stone pelters in Kashmir with their traditional weapon, the slingshot," reported ANI.

Stone pelters

The youths in tribal dominated district--Jhabua --in western MP are experts in the use of Gofan. A Gofan is similar to a slingshot and uses a looped cord with a knitted bag attached to the one end. It's a popular traditional weapon used by the tribal men/boys to fight against enemies and wild animals.

"A Gofan battalion of local tribal youths should be constituted and be posted in Kashmir to deal with stone pelters. This battalion will be a suitable answer to stone pelters," Prem Singh, a 26-year-old tribal youth of Lakhpur village of Jhabua district, told PTI.

The leaders of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress in MP have supported the formation of such a squad comprising of local youths--who are masters of this art.

"Government should form a 'Gofan Stone Pelters Squad' to deal with the situation in Kashmir. This would not only be effective in the present situation but also can deal with similar situations in the future," former Congress member of legislative assembly from Jhabua, Xavier Medha said.

"Army can't fire gunshots at the protestors and this squad can give a befitting reply," he added.

Stone pelters of Kashmir have become a major headache for the security forces in the Valley who are fighting against terrorists on a daily basis. According to reports, as many as 411 stone pelting incidents have been reported in the Valley from October 2016 to March 2017.

In recent times, the use of pellet guns by security personnel against stone pelters has been widely condemned by various human rights groups. Now, the Centre is toying with the idea of using plastic bullet to replace pellet gun, the use of which has killed many and caused blindness to hundreds in the Valley last year.

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