Now, police will use less-lethal weapons to control crowds

Last Updated 21 March 2018, 19:12 IST

Soon, stun guns and other less-lethal weapons will become part of the police armoury, which they would deploy in routine law and order, especially while controlling crowds.

If things go according to the plan, the men in khaki will carry electroshock devices, along with batons and lathis, to immobilise potential suspects.

The Communications, Logistics and Modernisation (CL&M) wing of the police has plans to deploy the modern weaponry as it has been years since the police force had its weapons refreshed. Some of the traditional weapons in the armoury even date back to World War II.

If sanctioned, the tasers and stun guns would add strength to the existing non-lethal instruments like fibre or wooden lathis, wooden batons, tear gas shells, rubber bullets and water cannons.

The CL&M wing met ADGP and IGP-level officers at the state police headquarters three weeks ago and asked them to give a list of their requirements.

"The modernisation will be phased in and phased out through 2018-19 and 2019-20," said Malini Krishnamurthy, ADGP, Communications, Logistics and Modernisation.

"We've discussed the plans and the budget. The department will write to the government by the end of March to procure and issue the weapons."

She said the department was also planning to deploy certain modern technology for predictive policing in the state.

The range of lethal weapons, however, would remain the same as the repertoire of guns and explosives had been refreshed to phase out traditional instruments and include new improvised weapons, said a senior police official.

For years now, the police have been using .303 rifles and musket in the constabulary. They now claim that the musket is an improvised version of the rifle with a .410 bore, which is a lethal firearm.

Among the lethal firearms carried by police officers are a .38 revolver (Smith & Wesson) and a 9 mm pistol (Webley & Scott). The Glock is said to be an improvisation of the old revolver.

(Published 21 March 2018, 19:12 IST)

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