The Maharashtra government has formally chalked out a weapons policy for the police that will not only expedite phasing out antiquated guns like the 416 Musket, 303 rifle and the Carbine, but also do away with the problem of procuring spare parts and ammunition for them. The weapons policy, besides recommending introduction of new weapons in the police force, also proposes introduction of plastic bullets to be fired at rioters during a law and order crises. Use of plastic bullets is expected to reduce loss of life in such situations. In the past, several commissions of inquiries into police firings have recommended introduction of plastic bullets, which can deter rioters without causing loss of human life. The draft of the weapons policy was submitted by the state police way back in 2003, and it took almost seven years for the Home Department to endorse it. Home Minister R R Patil, who convened a meeting of senior police officials on this issue, has suggested some improvement in the draft as a lot of time has passed since its submission, and there have been much technological improvement over the years. The new policy provides guidelines on which weapon should be used for specific situations, and also recommends the brands of weapons that should be acquired for the force. The weapons policy will be out in a week’s time. Bureau report – NMTV News.
March 17, 2010