Pellet guns will be used only after less lethal weapons fail to control the stone-pelting protesters and before firing is ordered as the last resort, official sources said. Oloeoresin, a semi-solid extract in a solution, mixed with spicy gel, could be put in the grenade casings, they said.
The suggestion for using such grenades came up at a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi which was called a day after the Supreme Court voiced concern over injuries caused by pellet guns and asked authorities to consider other means to quell the protests.
After hearing arguments in the case, the top court had suggested to the government to consider other technology-based measures like microwave to disperse the protesters and water which tastes and smell foul that will make people go away.
The sources said Oloeoresin-based shells emerged as an immediate solution and will be used after carrying out necessary testing by the security forces.
It is being manufactured by Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), a defence laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
However, the meeting was of the view to that pellet guns should continue to be used if less lethal weapons failed to control violent crowds.
The body of the oleoresin-based shells are made of plastic, which melts when the grenade bursts. Immediately after exploding, it emits gas which causes breathing difficulty and irritation in eyes.