Security men face uphill task, choke on tear gas - The New Indian Express

Security men face uphill task, choke on tear gas

Published: 24th February 2011 01:28 AM

Last Updated: 16th May 2012 08:04 PM

HYDERABAD: A stun grenade is nothing more than a Diwali cracker for them. Defusing a tear gas shell is child’s play for Osmania students.

With strict orders not to use excess force on agitating students and insistence on non-lethal weapons, police and security forces at the OU campus are facing an uphill task to counter student unrest.

Even mother nature is not on the side of police, as tear gas from shells is hitting police instead of students with winds blowing back towards the police station. After the police station compound wall razed, they are more vulnerable to attacks.

“We are doing nothing but defending ourselves from the barrage of stones and petrol bombs hurled by students,’’ a senior policeman admitted.

The stun grenades were showing no impact on students as they are seen dancing around it whenever a shell landed.

“It seems they got acquainted with them. In the initial days, students used to run away and stay calm for a few minutes when they were used. Now, they have no fear,’’ the officer said.

Tear gas shells are causing more worries to police as they are either being neutralised by pouring sand or being thrown back using a piece of cloth. “Even if they are not neutralised, the gas is hitting us only due to wind blowing towards us, We are caught between the devil and deep blue sea,’’ said a constable.

The forces do not even have masks to keep themselves safe from the gas which causes severe irritation to eyes.

The worst part is location of the police station constructed on a hill, overlooking the B-hostel.

“It is just like Indian soldiers fighting Kargil war with their enemies on the hill top,’’ another official remarked.

Now with the compound wall demolished, stones thrown from outside might land directly into the station officer’s room.

Officials, however, said they have been asked to show maximum restraint in dealing with protesting students.

                                                                     -- hareeshp@expressbuzz.com

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