India: police will use pepper-spraying drones on protesters

Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans as police use a water cannon to stop them from moving towards the office of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, during a protest against recent rape and hanging of two girls, in Lucknow in 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar


Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans as police use a water cannon to stop them from moving towards the office of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, during a protest against recent rape and hanging of two girls, in Lucknow in 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Police in the northern Indian city of Lucknow plan to use pepper-spraying drones against protesters.

The city's police chief, Yashasvi Yadav, told AFP his officers have successfully test-flown the newly purchased drones, which are capable of spraying chemical agents on crowds.

"The results were brilliant. We have managed to work out how to use it to precisely target the mob in winds and congested areas," Yadav told AFP.

"Pepper is non-lethal but very effective in mob control. We can spray from different heights to have maximum results," he said.

The city's police force has bought five drones, costing about 600,000 rupees ($9,600) each, with their introduction planned for later this month, he said.

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The unmanned quadcopters also carry high-resolution cameras, and can tote up to two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of pepper spray, flying within a one-kilometer radius of their operator.

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  1. "mob"

    I suspect a lot of these police would have gladly used these weapons against the Indian independence movement, because "mob," because "law and order," because "law enforcement."

  2. They might use them once or twice before they are gone forever. I bet even a ball-bearing from a slingshot will destroy one of those quadcopters without much difficulty, much less a gunshot.

  3. And to think, it began with salt.

  4. Gandhi expected nonviolence to persuade the troops defending the salt factories to abandon violence.

    It didn't.

    But violence couldn't keep the resistance movement from making their own salt and evading the regressive tax/monopoly on salt.

    And violence was really bad for propaganda, once reporters got the news out.

  5. Shash says:

    There was more to it too - they could get violent against a few thousand. Ten thousand? A hundred? A million?

    At some point, you're talking numbers too vast to be effectively suppressed. And there's always the threat of actual violence in the background - if the Satyagraha fails, try dealing with the guerillas...

    Anyway, it would be really hard for the Indian government to explain what they were trying to do if a thousand people voluntarily and peacefully walk into the pepper spray...

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