After outrage over the use of pellet guns in Kashmir, the Union Home Ministry has asked the security forces to use non-penetrative plastic bullets to tackle stone-pelters and violent mobs during protests in Jammu and Kashmir. The non-lethal pellet guns would continue to be in use as an alternative during tough situations.
The plastic bullets are non-penetrative and can be fired from INSAS rifles. According to a PTI report, thousands of plastic bullets have already been dispatched to the Valley for their use by enforcement agencies.
The security personnel have to face violent protests and stone pelting mobs. So far, security forces are using PAVA shells and pellet guns, the last option in the non-lethal category before the use of assault rifles, to control the mobs.
PAVA (Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide) is a chilli-based ammunition, which is less lethal and immobilises the target temporarily.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Union government to consider effective means other than the use of pellet guns to quell stone pelting mobs in the state.
In 2016, the top court had said pellet guns should not be used “indiscriminately” for controlling street protests in Jammu and Kashmir and be resorted to only after “proper application of mind” by the authorities.
A bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had issued notices to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and the Jammu and Kashmir government while seeking their replies on a plea alleging “excessive” use of pellet guns in the state.
The bench had also sought the assistance of Attorney General on the issue and had asked him to submit a copy of the report submitted by the Expert Committee constituted for exploring other alternatives to pellet guns.