Srinagar: The J&K Police Wednesday said it has drafted a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) to handle the law and order situation in the state. The SOP says that both J&K Police and CAPFs shall organize joint training regularly.
The J&K police have submitted the SOP before State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) after a petition was filed by human rights activist and chairman International Forum for Justice, Human Rights (IFJHRJK), against the excessive use of force by police and other forces. Untoo had filed the petition in 2011.
According to police, the SOP for crowd control/dispersal of unlawful assemblies in Jammu & Kashmir, has been drafted in consultation with DG CRPF, which would be applicable to all forces (Police/CAPFs) operating in J&K for law and order duties.
According to the SOP, the ground troops are instructed for use of force for dispersing unlawful assemblies in J&K.
It said the guidelines for ground troops and 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.
“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 safety of Law Enforcement Elements and peace loving citizens,” reads the SOP copy submitted by police.
The hierarchy of usage of force, TSMs and other less-Lethal Weapons is as given as:
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 no: disperse, they should be declared and Unlawful assembly and warned that force would be used hereafter for dispersing them. Sometime 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: Use of Water Cannons: The next step would be to use force such as water cannons which have minimum potential to cause injury wherever feasible.
Third Stage: Use of Tear Smoke Munitions CS/PAVA/Oleoresin:- the tear smoke munitions CS/PAVA/Oleoresin should be used in the circurnstances like when mob does not disperse even after usage of water cannons, when 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 Tear Smoke Munitions three methods- by firing shells from gas Gun/Multi Shel Launcher [MSL], Tear smoke munitions Cs/Pava/Oleoresin are used to disperse the mob by following When the mob is at the distance of more than 50 mtrs, Tear smoke Shells CS/Pava/Oleoresin are fired from Tear Gas Gun or Multi Shell launcher [MSL].
It says that forces should 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 fatality. It should be fired in 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.
It 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 fited with discharger cup with the help of propellant cartridges so as to attain longer ranges.
The SOP says that the Fourth Stage should be Lathi charge which is normally resorted after the use of TSM, as a precursor of Kinetic Energy.
“In the Kashmir valley, this is fraught with dangers which normally do not happen in other parts of the country. This will required direct proximate contact with the mob. There have been instances of grenades being lobbed by the mob or of automatic fire coming from the mob, onto the forces.
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.
Sixth Stage should be 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.
Seventh Stage 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, live rounds are not be fired to restore public order and minimize threat to life caused by such unlawful and violent crowd.