Kashmir Range Inspector General of Police Muneer Khan has issued a directive to the personnel about the “misuse” of pump action guns, commonly known as pellet guns, on civilians, Greater Kashmir reported on Thursday. The directive, issued on December 19, asks police chiefs to instruct personnel about the use of deflectors, which are devices fitted on pump action guns to cause minimum injury to protestors.

“[The] use of deflectors is a must,” Greater Kashmir quoted the communique as saying. The directive said that guns were being aimed above the protestors waists, which violates the “prescribed standard operating procedures”. The order has asked police chiefs for a report on usage of deflectors by the security forces.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police SP Vaid indicated that the force did not have an adequate supply of deflectors. “Once we have the adequate supply of deflectors, the nature of injuries will come down,” Vaid told the English daily.

The government had come under a lot of criticism after severe injuries were reported because of the pump action guns. The guns had caused blindness in some. The government had also tried to replace the guns with chilli-based Pava shells.