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Where are the Water Cannons?

Posted in J&K with tags , , , , , on 21 June 2010 by indiasecuritymonitor

J&K police and paramilitary forces face a dilemma. Whether to prepare and equip themselves for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism, OR whether to prepare themselves for law and order issues.

Stone pelting, now developed as a fine art by the youth in Srinagar, is often responded to with tear-gas and rubber bullets and even actual bullets. These weapons in the hands of a jittery police force (after all the police are also entitled to emotions and frustration) are causing the damage.

Kashmiris are traditionally shy of water. No offence intended – it is probably a function of the weather and the lack of hot water. Water cannons need to be used to control crowds and disperse stone throwers. Adequate non-lethal riot control weapons and equipment is available in the open market to do away with the need to fire live rounds at the crowd. That apart, Mr Omar Abdullah needs to engage these rowdies to ensure that they are taken to task and do not hold the city to hostage time and again.