Kashmir: Rajnath Singh approves use of chilli-based shells for crowd control

During the two-day visit, the MPs will interact with Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and will also be holding meetings with representatives of all political parties to bring peace in the restive Valley.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 3, 2016 5:52:25 pm
Kashmir, Pellet guns, Kashmir pellet guns, All party meet, Rajnath Singh, Rajnath Singh pellet guns, Pellet gun alternative Rajnath Singh, who is heading the all-party meet in Kashmir, has said that after returning to Delhi on Monday night, the delegation would meet once again “and the government will take action based on their suggestions”. Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday approved the use of chilli-based PAVA shells for crowd control measures in the Valley ahead of his visit to Kashmir for the all-party delegation meet, said PTI quoting official sources. The Home Minister cleared the file for use of Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) also called Nonivamide as an alternative to the pellet guns, official sources said.

They said as many as 1000 shells would be reaching the Kashmir Valley tomorrow.

PAVA shells are non-lethal, which temporarily incapacitates the target and paralyses them for a few minutes. The shells actually contains an organic compound found in chillis.

The use of pellet guns and the number of fatal eye injuries in the Valley has resulted in a huge outcry over its use by security forces to control protests. An expert panel was thus setup to find a suitable alternative to pellet guns for crowd-control measures in the wake of violent protests after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Rajnath Singh, who is heading the all-party meet in Kashmir, has said that after returning to Delhi on Monday night, the delegation would meet once again “and the government will take action based on their suggestions”.

During the two-day visit, the MPs will interact with Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and will also be holding meetings with representatives of all political parties and other delegations in Srinagar to bring peace in the restive Valley.

READ: Kashmir: Opposition pitches for holding talks with Hurriyat

Reiterating that the use of pellet guns must be stopped in Kashmir, the Congress Party on Saturday said that the government must initiate dialogue with all stakeholders to end the prevailing unrest in the valley. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said the pellet guns should be replaced with less lethal options to control protesters in Kashmir Valley.

READ: Use of pellet guns: Capsicum shells, stun grenades can be used as options, says panel

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said he hopes for positive outcome from all party delegation visit, adding there is more need for peace in the Kashmir valley.

Apart from the Home Minister and Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, those who will be part of the all-party
delegation include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, his Lok Sabha colleague Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja.

The Valley is facing unrest due to protests in the aftermath of the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8. The Valley has seen possibly the longest spell of protests for over 50 days in which 70 people have lost their lives so far.

(With ANI and PTI inputs)

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