Lathi-charge, the familiar term for mob management by police forces in India, is set to become history. Delhi Police will be doing away with its colonial-era bamboo lathis for a lighter and easier to wield plastic baton that will "hurt less" when it comes in contact with the human body.
Made of polycarbonate, a transparent, solid and virtually unbreakable material, the new batons are easy to hold and swing due to its lower weight and will also "hurt less", a police officer told IANS.
The new batons are being progressively introduced. "As they are light in weight they tend to cause less damage to an individual and reduce the chances of grievous injuries," the officer said on condition of anonymity.
Delhi Police had faced a lot of flak in June 2011 when a 51-year-old woman supporter of yoga guru Baba Ramdev died after she was hit by a police lathi at the Ramlila grounds.
The deceased, Rajbala, who received serious spinal injuries, was one among the several supporters of Ramdev who were beaten up and forced to leave the premises in a police crackdown on a protest against corruption. Also, during the anti-rape protests in the capital last December, Delhi Police came under fire for indiscriminately using force on the demonstrators. The courts had pulled up the police for using force.
"Such incidents will now hopefully be prevented," the officer said.
Text and Images: IANS