Govt supplies 1 lakh plastic bullets, chilli-filled PAVA shells to Kashmir

Srinagar: In a bid to control violence in the valley, the centre has supplied 1 lakh plastic bullets and PAVA shells to the defence forces. PAVA (made of pelargonic acid vanillyl amide, an organic compound found in natural chilli pepper) shells are more efficient and pungent in comparison to chemical-based PAVA shells.

“As part of the graded response to deal with violent crowds, the plastic bullets are being employed before using pellet guns,” said a Union Home Ministry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media, reported by Justice News.

Plastic bullets can be fired from a normal AK-47 rifle but in a single shot mode and it is not possible to use burst mode firing with them, said a CRPF official.

The security forces will now have many options, including tear smoke shells, PAVA shells, rubber bullets that are fired from gas guns, plastic bullets and pellets guns—before actually opening fire.

To end the unrest in Kashmir valley after the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, last year, forces had used pallets guns, containing cartridges of smalls metal balls. The bullets gained wide criticism as they were responsible for blinding (fully or partially) hundreds, along with severe facial injuries.

As a result of which, options of PAVA shells and use of plastic bullets were explored. However, the Centre has also made it clear that the use of pellet guns is still an option to deal with violent crowds in the Valley, though it will be used very sparingly.