Faced with severe criticism over the use of pellet guns which has caused over a hundred eye related injuries, the government is planning to end the use of the controversial weapon.
According to reports, the government has zeroed-in on PAVA shells, a chilli-based non-lethal munition.
The PAVA shells, aka Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide or Nonivamide is an organic compound found characteristically in natural chilli pepper, which is capable of temporarily incapacitating the targets and render them immobile for several minutes.
It is like capsaicin a natural capsaicinoid from chili peppers and commonly used in food additives to create a hot sensation, even in self-defense pepper sprays and as an alternative to capsaicin in medical products for topical treatment of pain.
The PAVA shell has a projected jet range of 4-5 metres, which gives officers a useful reactionary gap when dealing with violent subjects. It is completely odourless and will not damage clothes or skin.
The shells have been under trial for almost a year now at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory in Lucknow.
The home ministry panel which recommended it noted that PAVA is “biosafe, better than chilli grenade or tear smoke shell and can also be used in combination with stun and tear shells”
PAVA shells is being used in a number of countries across the world for riot control.