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Capsigrenade is police’s new weapon suffocating people

By Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

Srinagar, May 30: Use of Capsigrenade spray on protesters is causing problems to the people in the city.
Police has been using the spray, a form of the Capsigrenade, since the protests erupted over the rape and murder of a Kathua girl.
It is being mostly used around the city centre, Lal Chowk.
“We have been witnessing the use of tear gas shells and chilly grenades for a long a time. In the past, we never saw spray form of Capsigrenade. Once used, a person feels suffocation of worst kind and irritation in eyes,” said Shakeela Begum, an Anganwadi worker, who was part of a protest.
Not only the protesters, but the shopkeepers and tourists also suffer due to the spray.
“We have been facing a lot of difficulties because of its use. At times when they spray it, we have to lose customers. The impact is felt for more than two hours,” said a footwear dealer at Moulana Azad Road.
A tourist, Gurpreet Singh, of Punjab, was crossing Budshah Kadal on Wednesday when the spray was used on Anganwadi workers.
She said: “I experienced the spray for the first time. It is really painful. One should restrict its use, keeping in view its impact on the humans and the environment.”
Containing oleoresin capsicum, stabilizer, solvent and propellant, it is considered as eco-friendly and less lethal compared to other means, a claim contested by the experts.
Renowned chest specialist, Dr Naveed Shah said that it would be the modified form of the Capsigrenade.
“It is an irritant gas, which causes irritation to eyes, cough and suffocation. It also results in runny nose,” he said.
“It can trigger an attack in a COPD or asthma patient. The attacks can sometimes be life threatening.”