There are several “non lethal” weapons like plastic bullets etc which are available and good enough, a top CRPF official said today on whether the force was looking for a substitute to pellet guns. The use of pellet guns has been mired in controversy as they have been blamed for seriously injuring protesters. Talking to reporters at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) headquarters here, Special Director General, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Zone, S N Srivastava replied in the negative when asked whether the paramilitary force was looking for a substitute to the pellet guns. “The various non-lethal weapons, that we have, are good enough. We need not to look for substitutes,” Srivastava explained.
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There was much outrage and protests by human rights activists over the injuries to civilians in the Kashmir valley because of pellet guns after which the home ministry formed an expert committee that suggested introducing chilli-based PAVA (pelargonic acid vanillylamide) shells. However, the Special DG, while speaking to reporters here said that the CRPF had “got other alternative (non-lethal weapons) as well. We have got Tear-smoke munitions (TSMs), plastic bullets and many others”. “They are proving very effective,” he emphasised. There has been a fall in stone-pelting and the security forces have dealt with such incidents with sternly, he said. The need is to be resolute in action, he said.