Thursday, February 11, 2016

Indian police to use slingshots loaded with marbles and chilli balls against violent protesters

Police in India's Haryana state say they will soon begin using slingshots to control violent protesters. Policemen are being trained to use the weapons, despite concerns over their safety for crowd control.

Abhishek Jorwal, chief of police in Haryana's Jind district, said 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.

Mr Jorwal said the "idea is to avoid the use of lethal weapons against the protesters". "Officers have been instructed to use slingshots and tear gas shells, and keep guns and bullets as the last option." Marbles and chilli balls will be used as ammunition for the slingshots.

"Marbles and chilli balls won't cause any permanent damage but will pack enough punch to push protesters back," he said. Handmade weapons, such as slingshots, are rarely used as a weapon by security forces in India. There are concerns marbles and other objects fired from police catapults could badly injure civilians.

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