The Bold Voice of J&K

CRPF introducing metallic deflector to make pellet gun non-lethal

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crpfAhmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR: Days after asking field units to stop using the pump action guns, commonly known as pellet guns, for riot control in Kashmir valley, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is shortly introducing a metallic deflector to make the weapon fully non-lethal.
Knowledgeable sources revealed to STATE TIMES that the CRPF Operations Directorate has manufactured and provided some samples of the metallic deflector to the paramilitary force engaged in riot control across Kashmir valley. Some basic tests of the deflector-fitted pellet guns have been conducted in the last three days and they have given satisfactory results.
Final test of the pump action guns fitted with the metallic deflectors would be carried out at firing range of CRPF’s Recruit Training Centre (RTC) at Humhama in the afternoon on Wednesday. It will be supervised by senior officers and commanding officers including IG Operations Kashmir Zulfikar Hassan.
“We have observed during preliminary testing that the pellets fired from deflector-fitted pump action guns hit only the lower portion of the target. Most of the times, almost all the pellets hit lower limbs. Just 4 or maximum of 5 pellets went up to the shoulder level. Earlier in many cases, the brunt used to be received by sensitive and vital area including chest, heart, lungs, eyes and forehead of the target object. We are sure nobody will die or get blinded after we formally introduce this device shortly”, said a senior CRPF officer. He, however, added that the guns would have to be used from a distance of 50 meters.
Commanding Officer of CRPF 28th Battalion and Public Relations Officer Rajeev Kumar Chowdhary is understood to have floated the idea of designing the metallic deflectors. Following his suggestion, the force managed to design a prototype which, if approved after final testing, would be introduced to counter the rioting crowds later this month. The device for operational purpose would be manufactured either by a firm of expertise or by the local arms and ammunition manufacturers in Srinagar’s Bandook Khaar Mohalla.
Chowdhary, also a former NSG commando, was not reachable for comment.
Significantly, Additional Director General (Law and Order ) in Jammu and Kashmir Police, Dr Shesh Pal Vaid, has also got a ‘nafri guard’ developed by Transport Workshop of Police in an attempt to reduce lethality of the pump action guns and tear smoke guns last week. SP Workshop Mir Afroz Alam told STATE TIMES that the guns fitted for a particular angle would prove effective as these would not hit vital organs of the men engaged in rioting. He said that about a dozen of the nafri guards had already been fabricated and around hundred more would be got manufactured soon.
Nafri guard is a barrier made of steel angles and strips and a wire mesh that moves on wheels on any road surface. While it spares the object’s vital organs and sensitive areas, it simultaneously guards the Police and paramilitary forces against the stones, brickbats and other missiles tossed by the unruly crowds.
More than 1600 people are estimated to have been hit by pellets in hundreds of the clashes that occurred in the last 116 days of the turbulence triggered off by the militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter on July 8. Of them, around 600 are said to have been hit in their eyes and around 300 have fully or partly lost their eyesight. Of the injured, seven persons have reportedly died due to the injuries caused by pellets.

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