PAVA shells can kill too: Doctors’ group

Srinagar: With PAVA shells being considered as replacement to pellet guns Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) led by Dr Nisar ul Hassan today said that these shells have the potential to kill.

Raising alarm President Dr Nisar in a statement said that PAVA shells could prove fatal to human life.

“While the expert committee has approved PAVA shells as crowd control agent for Kashmir, but they can kill too. Although designated to be non-lethal these shells have been associated with respiratory failure and death in exposed persons. Human deaths have been reported from this crowd control agent,” Dr. Nisar said.

“PAVA (Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide) which is a synthetic capsacinoid is already in use in Kashmir, according to an affidavit filed by CRPF in JK High Court. Polish authorities, in 2009 described a case of sudden death of a young man due to acute laryngeal edema caused by capsacinoid spray,” he added.

“Also, in 2013 an elderly woman from Aalikadal Srinagar died due to pepper gas, another version of PAVA in which active ingredient is capsaicin.”

Dr. Nisar said, “PAVA causes severe bronchoconstriction and is particularly life-threatening in patients with underlying lung disease. It causes conjunctivitis, blephrospasm, corneal abrasion and even blindness. It has vesicant effect on skin. These agents are used as offensive tactical weapons as opposed to controlling crowds for defensive purposes. Many countries prohibit the use of these agents against humans due to their lethal effects.”

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