Use of live ammunition is last among the seven options under Standard Operating Procedure in dealing with “law and order” situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Director General of Police has informed the State Human Rights Commission.The DGP submitted the copy of SOP before State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in connection with a petition filed by human rights activist and chairman International Forum for Justice, Human Rights (IFJHRJK), in 2011.“The objective of the SOP is to provide guidelines and precautions to be observed / while using available options of less lethal/lethal weapons and munitions for dispersal of an unlawful assembly in Jammu & Kashmir with minimum possible damage/casualties,” the top police officer said.He said less lethal weapons should be used as per established use-of-force policy since an improper use can lead to avoidable casualties. “The use of force should be guided by objectives of restoring peace, dispersal of violent unlawful assembly with use of such force as is required to minimize the casualty but without compromising the safety of Law Enforcement Elements and peace-loving citizens.”As per the hierarchy of usage of force, TSMs and other less-Lethal Weapons, he said first stage use of persuasion, mediation, negotiation, and warning.
The first and foremost step to disperse any unlawful assembly is to use the tools of mediation, persuasion and finally issuing a warning by use of PA system and/or banners for dispersal, If the assembly does not disperse, they should be declared and Unlawful assembly and warned that force would be used hereafter for dispersing them. Sometimes be given to allow them to disperse, if they would before force is used unless the mob is already causing damage arson, attacking the security forces etc.Second Stage, he said is Use of Water Cannons: “The next step would be to use force such as water cannons which have a minimum potential to cause injury wherever feasible.”The third Stage is Use of Tear Smoke Munitions CS/PAVA/Oleoresin. “Tear Smoke Munitions CS/PAVAJOleoresin should be used in the following circumstances: a) When the mob does not disperse even after usage. of water cannons b) When the mob does not disperse despite warnings and the senior most Police/Security force's officer is of the view that water cannon cannot be used due to terrain and unavailability or other unavoidable reasons.As per SOP, the forces are required to take care of set guidelines while firing shells from 38 mm Gas gun. “It should not be fired in an aimed manner on the assembly as a direct hit may cause the fatality. It should be fired in an indirect way. For these to be effective, a sufficient concentration has to be built up, for which a Multi shell Launcher is more effective than a Gas Gun. These can be interspersed with stun-lac or Stinger TSM, for discouraging the mo from throwing it back of the security forces. By Throwing/lobbing Tear smoke Grenades, Tear Smoke Grenades CS/Pava/Oleoresin can be lobbed from a distance of 30-40 mtrs,” reads the SOP.
Accordingly, the selective grenades have been found to be effective, Single way Grenade CS/Pava/oleoresin, Three Way Grenade CS/Pava/oleoresin, TS grenades by 12 Bore Pump Action gun.The SOP says the single way tear smoke grenades Cs/Pava/Oleoresin can be fired from a distance of 90-100 mtrs with 12 Bore Pump Action Gun fitted with discharger cup with the help of propellant cartridges so as to attain longer ranges.The Fourth Stage should be Lathi charge which is normally resorted after the use of TSM, as a precursor of Kinetic Energy, the SOP reads.Fifth stage, according to the SOP is use of Rubber bullet/Multi Baton/ Rounds/Plastic bullets Rubber Bullet should be tried into the ground just in front of the mob whereas Multi Bator rounds and Plastic Bullets can be fired in an aimed fashion.The Sixth Stage provides for use of Pump Action Gun. “When the mob does not disperse even after using these, Pump Action gun (12 Bore Number 9 cartridge having lead pellets) fitted with deflector would be used under this category. Extreme caution should be adhered to while using these munitions,” reads the SOP.In the last and seventh Stage, the SOP says the live ammunition can be used if the mob does not disperse even after using all previously mentioned options and restores to fire from weapons or throwing of grenades/incendiary bombs. (GNS)