India's interior minister approves chilli-filled grenades for mob control in Kashmir

In photo: Indian home minister Rajnath Singh (L) addresses a joint press conference with chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti on August 25, 2016. Photograph:( AFP )

DNA New Delhi, India Sep 03, 2016, 03.44 PM (IST)
India's interior minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday gave his approval to the use of chilli-filled grenades for crowd-control measures in the restive Kashmir valley as an alternative to pellet guns.

The Indian government was being criticised for the use of pellet guns as they were causing loss of eyesight among the affected protesters. 

The decision comes just a day before a delegation comprising representatives from India's political parties visit Kashmir on Sunday for dialogue with various stake-holders in the state.

The interior minister cleared the file for use of Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) also called Nonivamide as an alternative to the pellet guns, official sources said.

They said as many as 1,000 shells will be reaching the Kashmir Valley on Sunday. During his two-day visit to Kashmir on August 24-25, Singh had said an alternative to pellet guns will be given to security forces in the coming days. Pellet guns are, however, unlikely to be banned completely but will be used in "rarest of rare cases", they said.

(WION with agency inputs)