Non-lethal weapons -- new-age arms for crowd control

Non-lethal weapons -- new-age arms for crowd control

A just-concluded defence expo here was the scouting ground for top officials of several security agencies and state police departments for Non-Lethal Weapons (NLWs) and those dealing in such arms described the response as overwhelming.

Among the two NLWs on display was the 'JPX Jet Protector' -- shaped like a gun, it releases powerful concentrations of high grade Oleoresin Capsicum, a devastatingly inflammatory agent with accuracy to destabilise a person at 30 ft distance.

"The response was fantastic from security agencies. We got a lot of feedback for its trials from senior officials of the Home Department, NSG, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh Police. Some asked if we could increase the range as they had to deal with stone-pelters. We are looking into these points," said Jonathan Raj, a
Banglore-based importer of the non-lethal weapons.

A senior Home Ministry official told PTI that the Working Group set up to examine the use of non-lethal weapons by security personnel was looking at various kinds of such weapons in the market and this high-powered panel would soon submit its recommendations to the government.

"We are examining various equipment available in the country and from abroad for purchase of non-lethal weapons. There has been use of non-lethal weapons like lathi, tear-gas and rubber bullets in the past also but the nature of mob confronted by security personnel has changed in the past five years. We are now adapting ourselves to these situations," said a senior official handling internal security.

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