New Delhi: After Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir where he exclaimed that the government would find a safer alternative to pellet guns, officials at the home ministry are now considering the use of PAVA shells instead of the lethal pellet guns. 

What are PAVA shells?

PAVA shells are chilli-based munition which incapacitates the subject for a brief period of time and renders them immobile when shot. Compared to pellet guns where the subjects are blinded or heavily maimed if repeatedly shot upon, PAVA shells work as a temporary solution to quell tense situations.

Reports claim that though the final decision has not been taken, a seven-member panel involving officers from home ministry, CRPF, BSF, J&K Police, Ordnance Factory Board and IIT-Delhi will be deciding whether to replace the pellet guns or not. A demonstration with PAVA shells is already deemed to have taken place.

“In 2010, it was said pellet gun is a non-lethal weapon which can cause least damage but now we feel there should be some alternate to this,” Rajnath Singh said at a press conference on Thursday with CM Mehbooba Mufti.

Kashmir is witnessing violent unrests after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani. The use of pellet guns, which has resulted in thousands of critical injuries, has been criticised widely.

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