Jammu and Kashmir Police today put to use its non-lethal weapon ‘pump-action rifle’ for the first time for crowd control in which a few people received injuries when a nearly 3,000-strong mob attempted to attack an army camp in Sopore in north Kashmir.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had requested the Centre to take immediate steps for producing a non-lethal weapon as a number of people had died when police and security forces opened fire for dispersing mobs during the latest phase of violent protests in the Kashmir Valley.

At the request of Mr. Omar, the Ordnance factory at Jabalpur got into act quickly and produced such rifles which were handed over recently to the State police for putting them to use in mob control activities.

The Chief Minister had suggested several non-lethal weapons to the Centre and had also taken up the issue with Defence Minister A K Antony.

The weapon was put to use on Saturday when a 3000-strong mob attempted to run down a 22-Rashtriya Rifles camp in Seelo at Sopore in north Kashmir.

After batons and tear gas shells, security forces used the pump action rifle. A few people were injured but no one was killed in the action by security personnel.

The two-month long protests in the Valley have seen over 50 people die in mob violence and police action.

A pump-action rifle or shotgun is one in which the hand grip can be pumped back and forth in order to eject a spent round of ammunition and to chamber a fresh one.

It is much faster than a bolt-action system and somewhat faster than a lever-action system, as it does not require the trigger hand to be removed from the trigger while reloading.

The term pump-action can also be applied to various air soft guns and air guns, which use a similar mechanism to both load a pellet and compress a spring piston for power, or pneumatic guns where a pump is used to compress the air used for power.