After Home Minister Rajnath Singh on July 22 announced in Parliament that the government would set up a panel to look for an alternative to the pellet gun, the army has recommended three options, reports Hindustan Times.
According to the report, the options it has offered are sonic cannons, pepper shotguns and chilli grenades.
The use of pellet guns have been a subject of intense debate across the country over the last month, after it blinded several protesters and injured hundreds in the Kashmir valley.
So what are these three crowd dispersal tools?
Sonic cannons have been used around the world to disperse protesters. These cannons are essentially portable loudspeakers.
They are also known as sonic guns because the volume, specifically on the "alert" function that emits an ear-piercing beeping sound, can be turned up so high it can be used as a weapon. The device can reach up to 120 decibels, louder than a sandblaster or power saw.
Pepper is finely ground and dumped into a plastic 12-gauge shell which explodes and sprays the spice on contact. It can cause severe eye, nose and throat irritation.
It has been regularly used by Israeli law enforcement forces to disperse crowds.
These can cause serious discomfort to those at the receiving end of this weapon. The main ingredient in this weapon is a concentrate of bhut jolokia, found in the north-east and said to be the hottest chilli in the world.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed it and has even been used in recent times to flush out terrorists who are holed up.
Last year, Sajjad Ahmed, a resident of PoK, crossed over into Kashmir and hid in a cave along with four other infiltrators after army detected the infiltration. The troops then fired several rounds of ‘chilly grenades’ inside to flush them out. After sometime, troops entered the cave and found Sajjad weeping bitterly — due to the effect of the chilly grenades.