Chennai

'Pepper spray' gaining popularity in Chennai's suburbs

A police official explaining the significance of Pepper Spray to members of residents' welfare association at Panaiyur in Chennai. Police approval is a prerequisite for possessing pepper spray.

A police official explaining the significance of Pepper Spray to members of residents' welfare association at Panaiyur in Chennai. Police approval is a prerequisite for possessing pepper spray.  

Pepper spray, a self-defence mechanism suggested by the Chennai Police, is becoming popular among residents of several suburbs of Chennai.

At least 300 women and senior citizens residing in localities along East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai have placed orders with the police for the spray, priced at Rs.500 a canister.

Residents of farmhouses in the Panaiyur locality, which witnessed a gruesome double murder a few months ago, are thinking of keeping the spray at home. “The response is encouraging. Senior citizens living alone in beach bungalows are asking for the spray. Those staying in working women hostels, members of residents’ welfare associations and IT professionals are also showing keen interest. A girls’ hostel has placed order for procuring 50 spray cans,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Thoraipakkam) K.N. Murali told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Temporary blindness

The spray, capable of immobilising a person for about three hours by causing temporary blindness or acute irritation in the eyes, was introduced by the police to help women protect themselves from crimes such as chain-snatching.

As a goodwill gesture, the Bangalore-based company that manufactures the spray has offered a buy-one-get-one-free scheme to the Chennai Police limited to a maximum of 100 cans.

“We intend to give the sprays to beat constables who go on foot or motorcycle patrolling to remote areas. It could be of use when they have to arrest more than one person indulging in an offence,” Mr. Murali said.

The Neelankarai, Semmancheri and Thoraipakkam police have application forms to be submitted by those seeking the pepper spray. “The cans will be supplied only when the applications are cleared by the police. This should be used only as a tool for self-defence. A local hospital has agreed to give free treatment to suspects against whom the spray is used,” Mr. Murali added.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 29, 2020 6:57:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Pepper-spray-gaining-popularity-in-Chennais-suburbs/article16854876.ece

Next Story