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17 protesters died of pellet gun injuries in 2016-17: GoI

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4,799 incidents of stone pelting recorded in 2015-17

New Delhi, Mar 07 :  Seventeen protesters died of pellet gun injuries in Kashmir in the past two years, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir also said that two security persons were killed by protesters in the Valley in 2016.

As many as 13 protesters were killed in 2016 when government forces used pellet guns to thwart the agitators while four other protesters were killed in 2017, he said.

The minister in a written reply also said the government has constituted an expert committee on July 26, 2016 to explore other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons.

"The recommendations of the committee have been taken into account by the government for appropriate implementation.

"Accordingly, various measures such as using PAVA-Chilli (shells and grenades), STUN-LAC (shells and grenades) and Tear Smoke shells are used to disperse the unlawful violent protesters before the use of pellet guns," he said.

The government today informed the Rajya Sabha that there were 4,799 stone-pelting incidents and 872 militancy incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in past three years.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said 730 incidents of stone pelting were reported in 2015. In 2016, he said, 2,808 such incidents were reported, and in 2017, the incidents numbered 1,261.

In a written reply to a question, he said there were 208 incidents of militant violence in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015, 322 in 2016 and 342 such incidents in 2017.

The total number of militants killed in past three years in the state were 471, the total number of government forces; personnel killed were 201, and 72 civilians were also killed during the period, he told the Rajya Sabha.

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