|"Indian Defense Testing Super Hot Chili Pepper Grenades"|
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August 17, 2009
Indian defence scientists at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are testing hand grenades stuffed with bhut("ghost") jolokia chilli peppers to immobilize rioters and terrorists without killing them.
With the pattern of wars around the world changing, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is testing hand grenades stuffed with the world's hottest chillies, Bhut Jolakia chilies from Assam, the northeastern state of India.
Bhut Jolokias, were confirmed as the world's hottest by Guinness World Records in 2007.
Jalapeno peppers are rated at 2,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Units(SHUs). The world's hottest chilli measured a staggering 1,001,304 SHUs by the New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute.
One seed from the fiery three-inch pepper, found in north east India, can produce intense pain in the mouth for up to 30 minutes.
The DRDO says the devices will be used to control rioters and in counter-insurgency operations. Researchers say the idea is to replace explosives in small hand grenades with a certain variety of red chili to immobilize people without killing them.
The DRDO hopes to use these qualities to develop tear gas canisters and hand grenades. The heat from the weapon chokes the respiratory tract and causes the eyes to water.
The head of the Defence Research Laboratory said: "The war scenario is changing. Low intensity conflict is the norm of the day. The paramilitary forces face the problem of forcing the terrorists out of the hideouts. We wanted to find a non-lethal way to tackle insurgents and the mob during riot control."
"We are awaiting commercialization of the chili. It can be used in sprays by women to scare away eve teasers. Private companies have to come forward to take up the project,".
Excerpted from BBC News and Wikipedia