Srinagar, July 26:

The Jammu Kashmir Police has told the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) that it had drafted a seven-stage Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) to deal with the mob during law and order situations in the State.

Police submitted the SOP before the SHRC in connection with the notice of the commission regarding the use of SOP for dispersal of unlawful assemblies in J&K.

Police said the SOP says both J&K Police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) should organise regular joint training in this regard.

The Police informed the commission that the first stage should be 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 public address system and or banners for dispersal,” Police said. “If the assembly does not disperse, they should be declared an unlawful assembly and warned that force would be used hereafter for dispersing them.”

Police said the next step would be to use force such as water cannons which had the minimum potential to cause injury wherever feasible.

The third stage, which told Police SHRC, was use of tear smoke munitions – CS, PAVA, and Oleoresin.

Police told the commission that these are to be used when mob does not disperse even after usage of water cannons and when it does not disperse despite warnings and when the senior most Police or paramilitary force’s officer was of the view that water cannons could not be used due to terrain and unavailability or other unavoidable reasons.

Police also stated that tear smoke munitions – CS, Pava, and Oleoresin – are used to disperse the mob by following the methods like firing shells from tear gas gun, and Multi Shell Launcher (MSL) when the mob is at the distance of more than 50 meters.

It said the guidelines should be taken care of while firing shells from 38 mm tear gas gun and that it should not be fired in an aimed manner on the assembly as a direct hit may cause a fatality.

“It has to be fired in the in-direct way like in a parabolic path,” Police told the SHRC.

The Police guidelines also read that for these to be effective, a sufficient concentration had to be built up, for which a MSL was more effective than a tear gas gun and these can be interspersed with stun-lac or stinger TSM, for discouraging the mob from throwing it back at the government forces.

The Police told the SHRC that tear smoke grenades could be lobbed from a distance of 30 to 40 metres and a single way grenade or a three way grenade and stun lac grenades were are available with the government forces and could be used as these had been found to be effective.

“Single way tear smoke grenades can be fired from a distance of 90 to 100 meters with 12 Bore Pump Action Gun fitted with discharger cup with the help of propellant cartridges so as to attain longer ranges,” Police told the commission.

According to Police, the fourth stage in their SOP was cane charge.

“This is normally resorted to after the use of TSM, as a precursor of kinetic energy weapons,” Police told the SHRC. “In Kashmir valley, this is fraught with dangers which normally do not happen in other parts of the country and this requires direct proximate contact with the mob.”

J&K Police said there had been instances of grenades being lobbed by the mob or of automatic fire coming from the mob at the government forces.

“Also, a lone member of the government forces pulled away by the mob is likely to be lynched,” Police told the commission. “So, in such a situation cane charge should be done only if the situation is considered suitable for it and the decision for the same needs to be left to the officer on the spot.”

Police also told the commission that arresting and catching a member of the mob from the spot in live action had a big de-motivating effect on the mob and strategies may be devised for accomplishing this in a safe manner.

Explaining the fifth stage of the SOP, Police said in this stage rubber bullet, multi baton, rounds and plastic bullets would be used.

“Rubber bullet should be fired into the ground just in front of the mob whereas multi-bator rounds and plastic bullets can be fired in an aimed fashion,” J&K Police told the SHRC.

Police told the commission that the Pump Action Gun would be used in the sixth stage of the SOP.

“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,” Police told SHRC. “Extreme caution has to be adhered to while using these munitions.”

Police informed the commission that in the seventh stage, use of live ammunition would be used saying, “If the mob does not disperse even after using all six stages of actions in the SOP, fire from weapons or throwing of grenades, incendiary bombs, live rounds are to be fired to restore public order and minimize threat to life caused by such unlawful and violent crowd.”

The petition of the case was filed by Chairman of International Forum of Justice (IFJ), Ahsan Untoo in year 2011.

Courtesy: Rising Kashmir