Chilli-filled grenades to replace pellet guns

Chilli-filled grenades to replace pellet guns

First lot of shells will be sent to Kashmir today

Chilli-filled grenades to replace pellet guns
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday cleared the use of chilli-filled ‘PAVA’ grenades in place of the controversial pellet guns for crowd control. This comes ahead of a two-day all-party delegation visit to Kashmir.

The use of PAVA was recommended by a seven-member panel led by Joint Secretary in the home ministry T V S N Prasad, in its report submitted on August 29. Official sources said Singh cleared the file for the use of Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA), and around 1,000 shells would be sent to Kashmir by Sunday.

Though PAVA will replace pellet guns, the latter will not be completely removed from the security armoury. It will be used in the rarest of rare occasions, the sources said. When fired, the less-lethal PAVA shells will burst to temporarily stun, immobilise and paralyse the target in more effective ways than a tear-gas shell or pepper spray. The use of pellet guns in Kashmir over the past 57 days following protests had invited criticism, with political parties and civil society castigating the government over the issue.

Several youths were severely injured, most of them in their eyes, during violent protests against the killing of self-styled Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. The home ministry had set up the panel after the government and security forces faced severe criticism over the use of pellet guns.

PAVA was under trial for over a year at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research laboratory, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Sources said the Tear Smoke Unit of the Border Security Force in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, might be asked to go for bulk production of the shells shortly, with the first lot consisting of not less than 50,000 rounds.
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