Burhan Wani's death and a year of living dangerously

‘Plastic bullets’ sent to Kashmir

In this file picture a policeman holds a pellet gun during clashes in the downtown area of Srinagar.

In this file picture a policeman holds a pellet gun during clashes in the downtown area of Srinagar.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

May replace pellet guns which resulted in 13 deaths last year

The first batch of less lethal ‘plastic bullets’ were sent to the Kashmir Valley a few days ago as security forces anticipate protests to mark the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani who was killed in a gunfight on July 8 last.

The government faced severe criticism over the use of pellet guns which resulted in 13 deaths last year and injuries to over 250. Several parties demanded their withdrawal

“We got the plastic bullets a few days ago, but are yet to use them. We have been asked to exercise restraint,” a senior CRPF officer said in Kashmir. The CRPF helps the police in containing protests and maintaining law and order in the Valley.

The plastic bullets were tested at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory in Chandigarh. They could be fired from the weapons the forces already have. Instead of metal head, the ammunition would have a plastic head. The guns would fire one bullet at a time, an official said.

After the 2010 unrest, the Omar Abdullah government introduced anti-riot guns, which fired plastic bullets that disintegrated into 40 small projectiles after discharge.

‘Plastic bullets’ sent to Kashmir
 

A senior official of the Home Ministry said that though there was no specific input about trouble during the Wani death anniversary, the event falling during the month-long Amarnath Yatra was a cause for concern. “The militants don’t target pilgrims, but there is a high probability of them attacking security forces,” said the official.

Around 27,000 security men are being deployed for the 40-day pilgrimage.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 1:39:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plastic-bullets-sent-to-kashmir/article19127522.ece

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