In what could be termed as the toughening of stance, the Government of India has dispatched over one lakh plastic bullets and more concentrated PAVA shells to Kashmir valley to quell protests.
A report in Hindustan Times said that the Centre has also supplied the government forces with PAVA (made of pelargonic acid vanillyl amide, an organic compound found in natural chilli pepper) shells that are more pungent, to increase their effectiveness. “The new shells consist of oleoresin, which is more natural and pungent in comparison to the chemical-based PAVA shells,” the report said.
The larger supply of plastic bullets, considered less lethal than the much-maligned pellet guns, has been made after an extensive trial with a few thousand such bullets, the report quoted Union home ministry sources as saying.
“As part of the graded response to deal with violent crowds, the plastic bullets are being employed before using pellet guns,” sources said.
A CRPF official said plastic bullets can be fired from a normal AK-47 rifle but in a single shot mode. It is not possible to use burst mode firing with them.