New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday expressed surprise over CRPF director general K Durga Prasad's statement that the force will continue using pellet guns in Jammu and Kashmir, and said he must have got such directions from the Union Home Ministry.
"It's unfortunate. How can you make your own people blind," Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a press conference at the Parliament House complex.
Injuries from pellet guns have led to many cases of blindness among protesters in the state. Azad said the government and other authorities should try to win the hearts of the people and avoid using force against people.
Prasad had apologised for injuries caused to the people by use of pellet guns in Kashmir on Monday, but said they would continue to use it. He made the statement a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh's two-day Kashmir visit.
Azad said it was for the first time after Independence that thousands of people, including personnel of the security forces, got injured in clashes.
Talking about the Uttar Pradesh Yatra of the Congress, Azad said it was successful as the party got an overwhelming response from people in the state. "When we started the Yatra, we did not expect that so many people would come and support us, but we ended up doing more public meetings than expected," he said. "On day one, we were to address 10 public programmes but we ended up doing over 30."
Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar also expressed similar sentiments and said that people waited for the Congress campaign bus even in rain and stood by the road side without lights or any other basic facility. "It was good to see such a massive support for the Congress party," he added.