HYDERABAD: At a time when uniformed men of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are in news for two different reasons- one for being ambushed and killed in the red corridor and second for using pellet guns against civil protesters in the Kashmir valley; the top boss of the force, K Durga Prasad, who was in the city, in a free-wheeling chat with Express, denied ‘intelligence failure’ in case of the assaults against his men and justified use of pellet guns against a very ‘violent crowd’ claiming that his men follow ‘utmost restraint’ on the line of duty.
Q. How do you explain use of pellet guns against civilians?
A) We use various methods to control a crowd like teargas shells, grenades, plastic pellets etc. We also use number 9 cartridges. We may also have to use regular fire power depending on the situation. We are scouting for a better solution. There is a committee also formed by MHA in this regard. Not only for me, but also for the J& K police and all the other state police. Every police force uses all these methods. When Hyderabad was tensed, we had purchased 100 pump action guns. We are doing everything to bring situation under control with least loss of life. Everyone respects life, we too do that.
Q. Isn't there rising hatred against the forces?
A) In a class, if a class monitor is trying to discipline all his colleagues, they say you want to become the teacher’s pet. A class monitor is not always the most-liked person. ”Terrorists use stone pelting as shields”. This is not my statement, it is a fact. They are using weapons, grenades and naturally there has to be some way of controlling the situation. I need to control the situation. With faces covered, people are carrying AK-47 and pistols in public (shows a video of a public meeting). We have got more than 1,350 of my men injured in Army hospitals.
Q) How do you read the attacks against your men across the country?
A) Basically, we are deployed everywhere to take care of law and order situation and also in counter insurgency operations. We are the main stay for the government at this front and wherever there is disturbance. The extent of force depends on amount of violence.
Q) Do you see them as Intelligence failure?
A) Every situation is different by itself. Easiest way to say for me is intelligence failure-- no such thing. Everyone has to do their bit of work and we are coordinating with all. When we are at war, as in a tense situation, there is bound to be some intelligence happening. We need to control them and carry forward. They are our people. Indians. We cannot shoot at our people. This is the amount of restraint being maintained by CRPF.
Q) What about the Public perception?
A) It is being built by you people.