The robbery bid in Chennai by an engineering student with a Taser gun should have set the alarm bells ringing among law-enforcers. Even if it was a botched attempt that landed the student amid a bloodthirsty mob—that is, no robbery per se was committed—the incident should be an eye-opener as an electroshock weapon was found to have been used to commit a crime, for the first time.
Taser is a hand-held device that can administer electric shock to incapacitate the victim instantly. Though it isn’t much popular in India, even among the various law enforcing agencies as in other countries, it can be bought online. But preliminary investigation into the Chennai incident revealed the student had picked it from a local electronic shop. However he procured it; the highly dangerous weapon was easily available to a youth who badly needed money. Taser is dangerous for the shock it administers can cause irreversible harm to the human body and can even kill if the shock crosses a threshold.
While the 74-year-old grocery shop owner, who may have earned the distinction of being the first victim of a Taser gun attack in India, was lucky to recover from the shock and raise an alarm even before the attacker managed to remove her golden ear studs, it could have been fatal. The incident revealed two things. One, it is the criminally inclined who harness technological advancement effectively for diabolic schemes more than ordinary people. Two, the technologically inclined have started viewing crime as an alternative route to pelf, which is more frightening than being targetted by a Taser. Even records prove that educated youth are taking to petty and serious crimes, of late, and knowledge in science and technology enables them to pick and misuse scientific gadgets. That places an additional burden on the police: to be scientifically updated and keep abreast of the technological innovations if they wish to be a step ahead of criminals.