Union Government approves use of chilli-based PAVA shells as alternative to pellet guns

PAVA shells, a chilli-based ammunition, is less lethal and immobilises the target temporarily.

Created On: Sep 5, 2016 08:34 ISTModified On: Sep 5, 2016 08:42 IST

Union Government on 3 September 2016 approved the use of Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) as an alternative to pellet guns for crowd control. Pellet guns will be used in the rarest of rare cases.

Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) also called Nonivamide is chilli-based ammunition that is less lethal and immobilises the target temporarily. The shells actually contain an organic compound found in natural chilli.

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The PAVA shells were under trial for over a year at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory in Lucknow.


Earlier in July 2016, the Home Ministry constituted a seven-member Expert committee headed by TVSN Prasad for exploring the other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons. The Committee submitted its report to the Ministry recommending use of PAVA shells as an alternative. The Kashmir Valley is witnessing unrest following the killing of a Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on 8 July 2016.

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