PAVA shells continue to leave people’bruised’


Government forces are continuing with the use of PAVA shells despite the human rights activists asking for stopping their use.

On Wednesday, Insha from Pampore was yet another victim of these shells. PAVA shells fell in the vicinity where she was working, and within no time the smoke spread around, engulfing Insha and choking her.

Insha, already being allergic to the smoke developed severe reaction when she inhaled chili pepper released from the shell.

“She is already allergic, and when she inhaled the smoke she fell down unconscious,” said Insha’s brother who was accompanying her at SMHS.

After the shell exploded, she complained of breathlessness and then fell unconscious, “after that we shifted her to SMHS”, added her brother.

PAVA shells were introduced in the year 2016 when the pellets caused excessive damage in Kashmir by injuring hundreds and as per reports out of1065 pellet victims admitted at general specialty SMHS hospital, and SKIMS Medical College Hospital with injuries to eyes, 523 are below 20 years in age.

Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide or Nonivamide (PAVA) 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.

 While talking to the doctors about the condition of Insha, they said that she was stable as of now, adding that “she was brought here on time and  after initial treatment, she is quite stable right now.”

The trauma Insha had undergone, while struggling with the smoke within her respiratory track, was visible from her face, with puffed eyes and a pale looks.

PAVA shells used across Kashmir particularly in downtown, Srinagar, soon after the culmination of Friday congregation prayers. Smoke from Pava shells lingers in air for a longer period, causing troubles for old and children living in the area. The PAVA shells are responsible for many allergic reactions and even causes suffocation among the people in Kashmir.

The sudden explosion of PAVA shell turns the entire surroundings are teary and “makes it difficult to even breathe for those who are caught in the smoke these shells release” said an expert.


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