Baton-wielding Delhi Police to go ‘soft’

The wooden baton (lathi) will soon be a thing of the past. In its place, the Delhi Police will soon be introducing an easier to wield plastic baton designed to "hurt less".

Made of polycarbonate - a transparent and solid material - the new batons are easy to hold and swing as they are light in weight, a police officer said.

"As they are light in weight, they tend to cause less damage and reduce the chances of grievous injuries," the officer said on the condition of anonymity.

Delhi Police had faced a lot of flak in June 2011 when a 51-year-old woman supporter of Baba Ramdev, Rajbala, died reportedly due to injuries suffered during a police lathi charge in the Ramlila Ground. "Such incidents will now hopefully be prevented," the officer said.

The new batons were first introduced in the Delhi Armed Police battalions and in some key areas in New Delhi that see many demonstrations. "They will soon be introduced at all the city's 180 police stations," another police officer said.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police SBS Tyagi, the new batons will mostly be used to control restive and unruly crowds. "The area around Jantar Mantar and Parliament Street sees many demonstrations. Sometimes, the protests go out of hand and we are forced to resort to baton charge," Tyagi added.

Another officer said that police in most of the European countries have started using these batons. "And this upgradation is a commendable step," the officer added.

"These batons are available in different sizes, diameter and length and are made to order for police and paramilitary forces," a manufacturer said.


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