Lucknow: With growing incidents of unrest and communal violence in the state, Uttar Pradesh Police will now be armed with a battery of non-lethal weapons, including chilli bombs and plastic pellets, an official said here Tuesday.

An official attached to the office of the director general of police (DGP) said the distribution of this new-age weaponry to deal with mass protests and agitations has already begun.

“There has been a long standing demand for these non-lethal weapons, and after recent incidents of violence and unruly protests the state government has given a go-ahead to this proposal and we are sure that this would go a long way in containing spread of violence,” the official told IANS.

As part of the non-lethal armoury, district police units are now being armed with anti-riot guns, .12 bore pump action guns and chilli bombs.

In the first phase, 3,087 pump action guns, 1.08 lakh plastic pellets, 22,236 chilli bombs, 2,686 riot guns, 2,566 tear-gas guns have been provided to police in select and sensitive districts of the state, officials said.

These districts are Agra, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Allahabad, Varanasi, Gonda, Lucknow, Mathura, Muzaffarnagar, Barabanki, Hardoi, Amroha, Etawah, Mainpuri and Unnao.

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