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Pellet guns: Panel for chilli-filled grenades, stun lac shells

Pellet guns are, however, unlikely to be completely banned but will be fired in “rarest of rare cases”.
The seven-member expert committee, headed by Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry T V S N Prasad, submitted its report on Monday.

The panel was constituted after scores of protesters were blinded by the use of pellet guns in the Valley. The report for exploring the other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons was submitted to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi here, an official spokesperson said.

However, the spokesperson did not elaborate about the findings of the expert committee. Sources said Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) also called Nonivamide and other non-lethal ammunition like ‘stun lac cells’ and Long Range Acoustic Device (LARD) which create deafening noise to paralyse people were understood to have suggested as possible alternatives to the pellet guns.

However, LARD is likely to be used in rural areas as it could prove dangerous for old buildings in downtown Srinagar. Sources said pellet guns, which are being used by security forces for crowd control in Jammu and Kashmir, will not be completely banned but will be fired in “rarest of rare cases”.

Senior government functionaries have arrived at this conclusion after extensive consultations with security forces and examining the ground realities in Kashmir Valley.

The option of firing pellet guns will remain but these will be used only in rarest of rare cases, the official said. The government is facing severe criticism for using the pellet guns for crowd control in Kashmir Valley as the weapon has caused large-scale injuries in the 51-day unrest following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8.

The expert committee also recommended Standard Operating Procedures for deployment of this new assortment of non-lethal weapons. 

All-party team to visit Kashmir on September 4
An all-party delegation led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Jammu and Kashmir on September 4 and is expected to interact with a cross section of people as part of efforts to bring peace in the Valley which has been witnessing unrest. The delegation will visit Jammu and Kashmir on September 4 and the Home Minister will lead it, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

The delegation is expected to meet a cross section of people, individuals and organisations in its efforts to bring peace in Kashmir Valley which has been witnessing unrest after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. 

The Home Minister on Sunday had a hour-long meeting with BJP President Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and MoS for PMO Jitendra Singh and discussed with them the modalities of the all-party delegation.
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