70,000 tear gas shells used every year since 2016 to control pro-freedom protesters in Kashmir: Report

An Indian policeman throws a tear gas canister back towards demonstrators during a protest in Srinagar, May 12, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

Srinagar: The police and other government forces are using 70,000 tear gas shells on an average every year after 2016 mass pro-freedom protests rocked Kashmir, reported the Outlook Magazine.

The news outlet reported that in 2016 over 100,000 (one lakh) tear gas shells were used in Kashmir to quell the protests

“Approximately one lakh-plus tear-gas shells were used in 2016 and since then around 70,000 have been used on an average every year. We must be the biggest users of the munitions in the country,” outlook quoted a senior police officer as saying.

“In 2018, according to sources, around 36,000 tear-gas shells were used against protesters, besides 20,000 chilli grena­des and an almost equal number of PAVA shells. Stun grenades and colour-­smoke grenades were also used”.

Besides, the news report stated that police and paramilitary personnel fired most tear-gas shells using hand-held gas guns instead of multi-barrel launchers fixed atop a vehicle.

“The maximum use is in Srinagar, followed by the urban areas in the southern districts, besides Sopore and Baramulla towns in north Kashmir. Most tear-gas shells are procured from the BSF’s Tear Smoke Unit in Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh, a major manufacturing centre of the munition,” the report stated.

However, the reported quoted, Inspector general of police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani saying that there has been a “drastic reduction in the use of crowd-control munition compared to 2016 as the law and order situation has improved”.


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