Chilli filled PAVA grenades to replace pellet guns in J&K but CRPF is not happy

Srinagar, Aug 26: The chilli filled Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) grenades may be the replacement for the pellet guns in Jammu and Kashmir, but the CRPF is not in favour of a change as yet.

An expert committee had been set up by the Union Home Ministry to find an alternative for pellet guns. On Thursday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that an announcement by the expert committee would be out in the next day or two.

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PAVA grenades to replace pellet guns

The Valley has been on the boil since July 9 since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, Burhan Wani. The use of pellet guns has been criticised in several quarters which led to the home ministry setting up a committee in a bid to find an alternative.

While the committee has zeroed in on PAVA, many in the CRPF are not in favour of giving up the pellet gun as yet.

CRPF not in favour

While the union government feels that a ban on pellet guns may calm the nerves in Kashmir, many in the CRPF are not in favour of this decision.

Sources say that one needs to understand the gravity of the situation on the ground. A CRPF official says that the stone pelters tend to provoke and in such a scenario the pellet gun is the least lethal weapon.

The official further notes that such a knee jerk reaction on pellet guns could in fact prove dangerous. The mobs are ready to risk their lives and will relentlessly hurl stones and this could lead to some personnel using the regular service weapon which can prove to be lethal.

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The first step should be towards curbing the violence through dialogue and then think of a mechanism, the officer further notes.

The official also adds that even if the government is in favour of introducing the chilli filled PAVA grenades, there needs to be a testing period. "One needs to test these grenades out before it is put to use. It will be difficult to start using the same when the state is under boil," the officer further notes.

What is a Chilli filled PAVA grenade

The PAVA grenade has been classified as above peak. This means that it will paralyse and irritate a human being temporarily. When it is fired it stuns and paralyses the human beings for a short period. It has been considered to be safer than a tear gas shell. It is biosafe and can be used in combination with stun and tear shells, the committee had also noted.

The committee is also understood to have recommended that the Tear Smoke Unit of the BSF in Gwalior manufacture in bulk the Pava Grenades. It has further suggested that 50,000 rounds be manufactured immediately.

The committee notes that chilli filled PAVA grenades had been zeroed in on since stimulation tests of the shells had been done on children who are 12 years of age and it has proved to be safe.

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