Central Reserve Police Force Director General K Durga Prasad on Monday said that his forces will not stop using pellet guns – which leave permanent injuries when used in crowd control – even though they “feel very sorry” for those injured by them. The CRPF has been widely criticised for their use of the guns in the ongoing unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, which entered its 17th day on Tuesday. Prasad added that pellet guns were the "least lethal options", but they were considering different kinds of them to find one causes minimal damage, The Hindu reported.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on Sunday told the forces deployed in the Valley to refrain from using the guns against protestors. However, Prasad said that they have no choice but to continue to use them “in extreme situations”, when crowds get out of control and the life of jawans is at risk.
CRPF personnel have fired more than 2,100 cartridges from pellet guns during the Kashmir protests, which broke out after Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani was killed. Hundreds of people have been left pock-marked or with eye injuries as a result.
On the other hand, more than 1,000 CRPF personnel have been injured in the protest, mainly from stone-throwing. They will get compensation – Rs 4,000 for minor injuries, Rs 25,000 for grievous injuries requiring hospitalisation, Rs 50,000 if they have bullet wounds and Rs 1 lakh if they have sustained a permanent disability.