The count of CRPF personnel injured in stone-pelting in the current unrest in the Valley, where 67 people have died in protests since the July 8 killing of militant Burhan Wani, has exceeded the number of personnel injured in stoning during the 2010 protests.
According to figures provided by the CRPF, as many as 2,083 personnel have sustained injuries in stone-pelting by protesters. In 2010, the number of personnel injured in stoning totalled 1,755.
The CRPF brass and the security establishment are worried that if the protests do not end soon and mobs continue to target personnel, it will become very difficult for the men on the ground to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with protesters.
Sources said the CRPF apprehensions have been conveyed to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is due in Srinagar Wednesday on a two-day visit to the state.
The CRPF had 47 battalions in Kashmir when the protests began. Since then, 133 additional companies (each comprising around 100 men) have been sent to the Valley.
“There are over 60,000 personnel facing angry crowds every day. They are being humiliated, abused and hit with stones. There are orders but all personnel cannot be kept under watch. That’s our worry,” an officer said.
Over the last 47 days, the CRPF has fired close to 4,000 pellets cartridges and over 7,000 tear gas shells at those taking to the streets.
Since 2010, as many as 4,970 CRPF personnel have been injured in stone-pelting incidents. The highest number of injuries, apart from 2010 and 2016, were reported in 2013 when 491 CRPF personnel were hit by stones. In 2014, this figure stood at 231 injured while in 2015, it was 172 personnel.