Federal law enforcement agency said a ban on use of such cartridges would mean they would have no option but to open fire with rifles, a deadlier alternative. Photograph: (Getty)
CRPF, India's federal law enforcement and civilian agency, told a court that pellet cartridges were an accepted weapon to control riots
India's security force told a Jammu and Kashmir court they have fired 3,000 pellet cartridges (1.6 million pellets) between July 9 and August 11 to quell protests in the restive region.
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said the pellet cartridges, introduced in 2010, were an accepted weapon to control riots.
CRPF said a ban on use of such cartridges would mean they would have no option but to open fire with rifles, a deadlier alternative, during extreme situations.
The statement was made in an affidavit filed by the Indian security agency in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a ban on pellet cartridges.
CRPF also disclosed that it has used 14 types of "less lethal and non-lethal" munitions to control crowds during the ongoing protests in the Valley, which has been on the boil since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was gunned down by Indian security forces on July 8.
Some of the the 'less lethal' ammunitions used by the federal law enforcement agency are Oleoresin (a chilli extract) grenades, pepper balls, stun grenades and electric shells.