1. PAVA (Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide) shells contain an organic component found in chillis called Nonivamide and is responsible for the hot sensation of a pepper. The compound is more practical as it is bio-safe, making it less lethal than pellet guns.
2. PAVA leaves a person powerless as it causes severe irritation and temporarily paralyses the person. PAVA is one of the most pungent substances in terms of spiciness, as “above peak” and renders the target immobile.
3. PAVA shells can target subjects located at a range of 4-5 metres, thus providing the security forces enough time to react. The substance is also odourless and does not react with the skin or clothes once contacted.
4. Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory, Lucknow tested the shells recently after having worked on it for almost an year. The shells were then recommended to the central government as an alterantive to current non-lethal weapons.
5. Another effective non-lethal weapon, the “dye marker grenade with irritant” is also under consideration. The grenade works by causing irritation to the target. It also leaves a dye mark, allowing easy identification of protesters.