‘Yet to test laughing gas as tool for crowd control’

New Delhi, April 5: No tests have yet been conducted for assessing the use of ‘laughing gas’ as a deterring measure for the protection of police personnel, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said on Wednesday.

“As regards the use of ‘laughing gas’ for controlling crowds, as less harmful deterrent, the BPRD (Bureau of Police Research and Development) has not conducted any test or trial to asses its suitability for riot control,” Ahir told the Rajya Sabha.

While replying to a question about the tools available with police for crowd control, he said that, according to a BPRD report, water cannons are the most effective form of controlling mobs and restricting their movement.

“… water cannons developed by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) are commonly used in crowd and riot control for dispersal or to prevent movement on particular position and are considered most effective methods to disperse mobs,” the minister said.

Among the tools and equipment listed for the defence of the police personnel were: “Anti-Riot Equipment, Full Body Protector, Bullet Resistant Jackets, Bullet Resistant Helmets, MSL, Tear Gas, PAVA Shells, Chilli Water Cannon.”

Laughing gas is a common name for nitrous oxide and is known for its property of inducing a feeling of euphoria upon inhalation.

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