Chilli grenades spice up battle
Indian troops have a new weapon against terrorism, a grenade with the world's hottest chilli inside.
After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chilli," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilise suspects.
The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chilli. It is grown and eaten in India's north-east for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and a way to fight the crippling summer heat.
It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chilli's spiciness. Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.
"The chilli grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defence laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defence Research and Development Organisation," a defence spokesman said.
"This is definitely going to be an effective non-toxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hide-outs," R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of the DRDO said.
Mr Srivastava, who led a defence research lab, said trials were also under way for bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays to be used by women against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs.