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Procure non-lethal weapons to deal protests: HM

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday said state governments should procure non-lethal weapons to control crowds and civilian protests and avoid casualty.

"We want the states to adopt non-lethal weapons for crowd control, specially when there is civilian protesters," Home Minister P Chidambaram said after a conference of chief ministers on internal security here.

He said the Standard Operating Procedures for crowd control have been updated and emphasise has been given on use of non-lethal weapons.

Chidambaram said the SOPs will be circulated to states after a committee of police officers examine it.

He said some chief ministers said they want non-lethal weapons and he told them that the Centre was procuring some and the states could do so for their police forces.

The Home Minister said during the conference he drew the attention of the chief ministers to alleged human rights violations.

"I said terrorists, insurgents also violates human rights, in fact they violates human rights with greater impunity, yet since we are in the government, we are elected representatives, we run democratic governments, people hold us in high standard, we must not tolerate any violation of human rights," he said.

Referring to the police reforms act, Chidambaram said, hopefully, all states would pass their respective police reforms act by the end of 2011 to replace their archaic police act.

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