Government approved the use of chilli-based PAVA shells in Kashmir

New Delhi, Sep 03: Union home minister Rajnath Singh has approved the use of chilli-based PAVA shells for crowd controlling in Jammu and Kashmir, news agency PTI reported. PAVA shells are non-lethal munition which temporarily incapacitate the targets and render them immobile for several minutes.

With eye injuries caused by use of pellet guns in Jammu & Kashmir turning into a major controversy, an expert panel of the home ministry was set up to find alternatives for crowd-controlling in the Valley in the face of violent protests since July 8 when Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter. Hundreds of protestors have been blinded so far due to the pellet guns used by security officials or controlling the mob.

Earlier, officials had said that PAVA shells were on trial for over a year at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) and its development has come at a time when J&K is on the boil.

The name PAVA stands for Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide, also called Nonivamide, and is an organic compound found characteristically in natural chilli pepper.
On the Scoville scale (the degree to measure the power of chilli), PAVA is categorised as “above peak”, meaning it will severely irritate and paralyse humans, but temporarily. It is also used as a food additive to add pungency, flavouring and spicy effect to food.
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