Indian military to use 'chili grenades'
The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili.
After conducting tests, defence officials announced Tuesday they have decided to use the thumb-sized bhut jolokia pepper to make hand grenades that work like tear gas to immobilize suspects.
The bhut jolokia, grown in northeastern India, was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chili.
It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili's spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.
The name bhut jolokia translates as "ghost chili."
"The chili grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defence laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defence Research and Development Organization," Col. R. Kalia, a defence spokesman in the northeastern state of Assam, told The Associated Press.
"This is definitely going to be an effective non-toxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hideouts," R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of the DRDO said.
Srivastava, who led a defence research laboratory in Assam, said trials are also on to produce bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays to be used by women against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs.