HARYANA (Web Desk) – Police in northern India have decided to replace their modern arsenal with rudimentary weapons like slingshots and chili powder balls, in a bid to avoid causalities during violent protests.
The decision was made after they realised that these “non-lethal” options might prove to be more effective than water cannons or tear gas.
Police officers are currently being trained in the use of these “specially designed” locally made slingshots, learning to fire plastic balls filled with chili powder as accurately as possible. And if chili doesn’t prove effective enough, they plan to switch to marbles.
Abhishek Jorwal, chief of police in Haryana’s Jind district, told the BBC that the slingshots “were made after a lot of research and development”.
The “specially-designed” slingshots would be in addition to batons, tear gas and other weapons currently in use.
There has been some concern among locals that marbles fired from catapults could badly injure civilians, but Jorwal denies this. “Marbles and chili balls won’t cause any permanent damage but will pack enough punch to push protesters back.
“Officers have been instructed to use slingshots and tear gas shells, and keep (pellet) guns and bullets as the last options,” he added.
Handmade weapons, such as slingshots, are rarely used as a weapon by security forces in India.
But the use of non-lethal weapons, such as pellet guns, in trouble-hit areas such as India-held Kashmir has resulted in serious injuries to protesters and bystanders.