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SOURCE: RAJIV BHATIA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory recently announced that they have successfully developed new non-lethal plastic bullets for controlling riots which they claim these are less deadlier than pellet guns used in J&K to control stone pelters. The J&K Police which has recently received the first batch of stock from the production agency and even before first bullet has been fired at Ground workers of the Terror organization in the valley, targeted smear campaign already has started by left-leaning Online news portals in India to discredit their utility and peddle them as dangerous as pellet guns they are replacing.

The usual suspect ” The Wire ” has fired the first shot against the use of Plastic bullet in one of its report and Quoted ” Dr. Prince Sharma ” belonging to DRDO who is credited with the development of the Plastic bullet informing them that considering them non- lethal could be fatal but also said that biggest advantage of the Plastic bullet is precise targeting capability, unlike Pellet guns which can hit large section of the crowd and even innocent bystanders.

Plastic bullets, if used below the waist, can only cause minor injuries and fatalities can be prevented according to Sharma, but that clarification will not stop the swear campaigning which is going to be unleashed against the new Non-lethal weapon which has been widely debated and studied by many countries and continues to be used by many advanced nations even today . Plastic bullets are the go-to Non-lethal weapon system which is used by Riot-controlling forces around the world and is not a new invention which needs to be scrutinized all over again.

Various studies conducted by various agencies and NGOs against Plastic bullets still now have been non-conclusive at best, while studies do hint that close range usage of the weapon system can cause deaths and severe disabilities but if used correctly at appropriate distances it is much accurate and hardly causes serious injuries. Plastic bullets are designed to lose speed rapidly, reducing the force of impact. Generally, users are supposed to aim the weapons at individuals’ lower limbs but that’s, not the case always when an aggressive violent mob approaches security forces, chances of panic firing increases but according to studies, deaths due to Plastic bullets are also rare and can be also contributed due to delays in getting medical help which further complicates the matter.

Out of 1984 people studied by the researchers, who have been at receiving end of a Plastic bullets, only 3% actually died but Plastic bullets used in these situations are quite different than what forces have to face in regions of Kashmir where stone pelters are much more organized and aim to kill or injure forces to help escape terrorists from the encounter sites. Since stone pelting is routine and a go-to strategic adopted by overground workers of terror organizations who are fully paid and motivated to help local terrorists escape from the encounter sites only makes the situation more complicated for the forces.

Once Plastic bullet usage in Kashmir starts, expect more such articles and more outrage by a certain section of Indian media which will only provide more ammunition to the across the border propaganda. Plastic bullet orders have not only reached J&K police but also have reached Rajasthan police and in coming days more State police are likely to place orders for Plastic bullets to control riot like situations but more coverage of their usage will continue to come from the Kashmir region where a certain section of the media in India have different agenda.    

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