NEW DELHI: Inspired by a duck poacher in Narbal, Badgam, the Jammu and Kashmir police started using pellet guns to disperse mobs, the Express has learnt. This interesting fact is far away from the discussions in security corridors on whether pellet guns are the most effective tool to handle protests like those happening in Kashmir. A 7-member expert panel constituted by the Home Ministry is exploring possible alternatives to pellet guns that has injured more than 300 protesters in Kashmir.
Sources said one shot from the pellet gun carries 585 pellets. The No. 9 shot frequently used by the forces in J&K, even if fired aiming at the feet, would soon disperse and fall in a circle of about 80 inches.
“So the discussion that the pellet shot should be fired at the feet of a protester is absolute myth. It will not just hit the face of a protester targeted, but also the one standing beside him. You can aim wherever you want, it is going to be lethal,” sources said. According to top sources, no scientific study was conducted before its introduction. “We should have analysed it before using it,” sources said.
It is learnt that experts had analysed various other crowd control weapons recently for use in insurgency-hit areas. However, they have been found to be ineffective.
The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) ‘sonic weapon’ was not very effective in handling a violent mob, sources said. While analysing its effectiveness, experts found that long and horrible noises generated by the sonic weapon could control only a small crowd, that too, only for a small period of time. “It cannot control the stone pelters that we see on the streets of J&K. Even the laser weapon designed to make the protesters sick appears to be ineffective on a violent mob,” the sources said.
Other weapons analysed include pepper spray shots and sticky foam gun but their effectiveness was found to be poor.
Meanwhile, separatists in the State said they intended to take out a march to the office of the United Nations Military Observer Group (UNMOG) in Srinagar on Wednesday.