New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday approved the use of PAVA shells, a chilli-based non-lethal munition, to control violent protesters, PTI reported citing official sources.
The development comes ahead of an all-party delegation's visit to Kashmir for peace talks with all stakeholders in the Valley.
The non-lethal PAVA shells can temporarily incapacitate the targets and render them immobile for several minutes.
The option has been suggested by an expert committee after the widespread protests in the Valley following the death of militant commander Burhan Wani.
The seven-member panel included officers from the Home Ministry, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Jammu and Kashmir Police, IIT-Delhi and Ordnance Factory Board.
Early this week, a full-fledged demonstration of the shells was held at a test field of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in the national capital.
After conducting the test, the panel gave its nod for use by security forces in crowd control and protest-like situations in the Kashmir Valley.
These shells are to be used in place of pellet guns which has led to wide-scale criticism as their usage led to cases of severe blindness and injuries to people.
The committee has reportedly recommended that the Tear Smoke Unit (TSU) of the BSF in Gwalior should be tasked with the bulk production of the shells.
It is reported that in the first lot not less than 50,000 rounds will be produced.
PAVA stands for Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide, also called Nonivamide, and is an organic compound found characteristically in natural chilli pepper.