To reduce the usage of pellets, CRPF has sent 21,000 rounds of newly-developed and “less lethal” plastic bullets to the Kashmir Valley in order to tackle the street protests, a top official of the force said. The bullets have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by the Ordnance factory based in Pune. The bullets can be fitted in the AK series of assault rifles and will be an alternative to the much-criticised pellet shotguns, according to PTI. CRPF Director General (DG) R R Bhatnagar told that these bullets are ”less lethal” and will reduce the dependence on pellet guns. Tests have shown that these plastic bullets are less lethal. This will reduce our dependence on pellet guns and other non-lethal weapons used for crowd control,” Bhatnagar said.
Bhatnagar further added that this will be newest less lethal ammunition the force has introduced to tackle crowds and counter stone pelters in the Valley. The DG said that about 21,000 rounds have been sent for distribution to all the units. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), deployed in counter-insurgency and law and order operations in Jammu and Kashmir hd ordered for the bullets so that the use of pellet guns can be replaced with less lethal plastic bullets. Bhatnagar said both 47 and 56, the AK series of rifles, are used by the CRPF units deployed in the Kashmir Valley.
The usage of pellets in the Kashmir Valley had come under heavy criticism after locals suffered grevious injuries, including blindness in some cases, in the last few years. It was then that the Union government ordered for the chilli-based PAVA shells to replace the pellet shotguns.