The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is currently facing a fair amount of criticism for its abundant use of pellet guns to quash the protests that have broken out in the Kashmir valley after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed.
To make matters worse, the Director General of CRPF, K Durga Prasad has triggered a fresh controversy by invoking misogyny to put across his defense to the use of pellet guns.
In an interview with Dainik Bhaskar, he casually compared the usage of pellet guns during protests to a husband beating his wife.
On being asked when the use of pellet guns will stop and whether there is any pressure from the government, he said:
“This is like asking, ‘When will you stop beating your wife?’ or ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?'” Prasad replied. “We are tackling unruly crowds. There’s no such pressure.”
There was instant criticism of the statement:
CRPF DG’s ‘pellet guns/ wife beating’ analogy exposes not only his own mindset but India’s mindset towards Kashmir pic.twitter.com/82mBvh9pbo— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) August 9, 2016
A ‘red-faced’ Prasad has now been asked to explain his “insensitive” remark to the home secretary, The Telegraph, reported. Sensing the gravity of the situation himself, he has now apologised saying:
“I did not mean to offend women or denigrate the dignity of women in any manner. I realise that my words were inappropriate. I apologise for the same.”
This is not the first time Prasad has made a controversial statement on use of pellet guns. He previously said pellet guns were the least lethal weapon to control protests and hinted that while the government mulls alternatives, pellet guns are here to stay.
“Everybody feels bad when youngsters get hit. But still, we will have to use it in extreme situation as of now,” he had said, adding that men on the ground were have been trained to react rationally and not emotionally.