Centre approves use of chilli-based PAVA shells as alternative to pellet guns

New Delhi [India], Sept. 3 : Ahead of the all-party delegation visit to Jamu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday approved the use of chilli-based 'Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide' (PAVA) shells as an alternative to pellet guns for crowd controlling.

PAVA shells are less-lethal ammunition, which temporarily incapacitates the target and renders them immobile for several minutes.

Last week, a seven-member expert committee, headed by Home Ministry Joint Secretary T.V.S.N Prasad, was constituted by the Home Minister to find alternative to the use of pellet guns.

Pellet guns gained widespread attention after more than 1,000 people sustained injuries in clashes with security forces in the Kashmir valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

PAVA shells, which contain Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide, is an organic compound found in chilli pepper.

It derives its name from the compound, which is also known as Nonivamide. It is considered to be bio-safe, less lethal than pellet guns, but equally effective. PAVA shells cause severe irritation and paralyses for a short duration. On the Scoville scale, the degree to measure the power of chilli, PAVA is categorised as "above peak", having a temporary effect.

Once fired, the shells burst out to temporarily stun, immobilise the target (protesters) in a more effective way than a tear gas shell or pepper sprays, and can also be used in combination with stun and tear shells.

Source: ANI