Flying drone is banned in Chennai

Indian police buy drones armed with pepper spray

Remotely controllable, sometimes even autonomously flying machines - also known as drones - are becoming increasingly popular. They have long been used not only for civilian purposes, but are also increasingly being used by military organizations and security authorities. The US military's controversial drone program is best known.

In India, too, the executive branch has now discovered the potential of the technology. The police in Lucknow, capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, have been using drones for some time and are now upgrading, reports Yahoo News.

With camera and pepper spray

Another five pieces are to be procured. These are equipped with cameras and pepper spray and are not only used for educational purposes, but can also be used, among other things, to disperse demonstrations that get out of control. Test flights are said to have already been successful. The operator can use the drone within a radius of around one kilometer.

As Engadget notes, however, there are concerns that it will be difficult for the drone pilots to correctly assess the situation on the ground due to the crowds. While local officials can easily distinguish troublemakers from peaceful demonstrators, using pepper spray with an aircraft runs the risk of harming many bystanders. However, the presence of such drones alone could lead to a dispersal of the crowd. (gpi, April 9, 2015)