In the face of increasing protests, especially at the heart of the Capital, the Delhi police is going to acquire a new tool to control the mob.
The LRAD or the Long Range Acoustic Device is a powerful public address system which can be amped up to 150 decibels to issue warm-natured warnings to ‘good’ and headache-inducing noise to ‘bad’ protesters.
“It is basically a powerful communication tool for crowd management during chaotic situations such as protests,” said TN Mohan, special CP (operations).
“We want to try and use reason with the mob before resorting to water cannons and tear gas.”
According to Delhi police statistics, 262 dharnas – or more than eight protests every day – were held in central Delhi during the month of April alone.
As many as 44 of these were of the ‘flash’ kind – with protesters appearing at vital installations out of thin air and bent upon creating a law and order contingency.
Angry Jat protesters storming home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s residence and mobs converging outside the Delhi Police Headquarters to protest against the rape of a five-year-old in Gandhinagar being cases in question.“The next time something similar happens, we will first try and reason with the crowd through the device. If they remain at it, they will be made to confront loud noise intended to induce headache, drowsiness and general unpleasantness,” said an officer associated with the project.
“How damaging the sound is depends on how prolonged the exposure has been. However, even sudden exposure to anything around 150 decibel is capable of inflicting irreversible damage,” said a senior doctor from the ENT department at AIIMS.
Procurement has already been given in-principle approval by with tendering currently in the final stages. Two mobile units fitted with the devices are expected to be procured within three months.