‘Alternative’ to pellets already in use, says CRPF affidavit

AVA shells (Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide), which are reportedly being considered as a replacement to pellet guns, have been used in the ongoing unrest in the Valley, an affidavit filed by CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir High Court has said.

The expert committee constituted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to find an alternative for pellet guns is learnt to have zeroed in on PAVA shells. However, according to the affidavit, CRPF personnel deployed across Kashmir have fired 800 shells of hot PAVA projectiles (pepper balls) between July 8 and August 11.

Apart from this, the paramilitary force has used tear smoke shells (8,650), stun shells (158), stun grenades (277), rubber bullets (1,715), tear smoke grenades (840), plastic pellets (2671), pump action gun 12 bore cartridge shot no 9 pellets (3,765), Multi Baton cartridge (201), oleoresin grenades (502), Dye Marker grenades (five), Stinger grenades (61), electric shells (14) and blank cartridge (5).

Inspector General, CRPF (Srinagar) Atul Karwal, submitted the affidavit on August 17 in response to a PIL filed by J&K High Court Bar Association, seeking a ban on the use of pellets in the Valley.

According to sources, the expert committee, which is yet to file its report to the Home Ministry, is considering PAVA shells along with CONDOR rubber bullets, teargas shells with enhanced potency and marker and stun grenades as an alternative to pellet guns. The committee which was formed on July 25, comprises a Joint Secretary of the Home Ministry, top officials of CRPF and BSF, a J&K police officer, an IIT-Delhi professor and two others.

The committee was asked to submit its report within two months, but Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday that the committee will submit its report within a few days.

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