Haryana Police have found a simple yet effective way to control violent agitators with as little violence as possible.
They have now decided to use ‘gulail’, or slingshot, to curb agitators in their area.
Instead of using guns and rubber bullets, the cops would now be using marbles and/or chilli balls as ammo for ‘gulail’, to disperse the crowd or protesters.
In the past, Indian cops have faced severe criticism for being harsh with protesters with many times the situation even turning for the worse because of their action.
With this tactic, the Haryana cops hope that they will be able to control a mob like situation without hurting anyone critically.
Talking about the initiative, IG A K Rao of Hissar range in Haryana, said that they got the idea from their counterparts in Jammu and Kashmir. He then went on to add:
“Those agitating are our own people. They are not criminals. We cannot pelt back stones at them. Hence, we ordered 1,000 such gulels with marbles and chilli balls. They don’t kill but are effective in dispersing mobs. Our boys are well-trained and can use them in any situation.”
To get the squad ready, Haryana Police set up a group of 40 young men and trained them over the weekend with the the slingshot and the desi ammos.
Explaining how slingshots will be used during an operation, SP Abhishek Jorwal of Jind district said:
“We have four such companies with 10 young boys each who have been trained to use the gulels. During a confrontation, the ‘gulel brigade’ would be placed third in row, behind cops with shields and batons.”
For now, the cops have been given a total of 1,000 marbles (distributed among these 40) to be used as ammo.
Back in 2008, the police had faced the flack when a 25-year-old woman guest teacher in Rohtak had died after being hit by a rubber bullet. She at that time was part of an agitation group.
The situation in March 2012, had only escalated, when a young boy was killed allegedly in the police firing during a protest.
The death had then led to a widespread violence with protesters even laying siege on rail tracks in different parts of Haryana and Rajasthan for nearly 20 days.
The boy belonged to the Jat community and the community at that time were protesting for reservation under the OBC category.