New Delhi: Lathi charge, a British form of mob management, is set to become history for Delhi police. The Delhi police personnel will now be seen using plastic batons instead of the ones made of bamboo.  The new batons have been distributed to the district police and to a few Delhi Police battalions in the first phase.

According to the Special Commissioner of Police, Deepak Mishra, Bamboo sticks remind people of the British rule in India. That is why plastic batons, which are made from lighter fibre, are being introduced in the system. Another senior Police official said that the new baton would cause less physical damage to an individual owing to its lighter weight and soft plastic material of which it is made.

Delhi Police had faced a lot of flak in 2011 when Rajbala, a 51-year-old woman supporter of Baba Ramdev, died after she received severe injuries during lathicharge by Delhi police at the Ramlila grounds. Moreover, during the anti-rape protests in the capital last December, Delhi Police came under fire for indiscriminately using force and resorting to lathicharge on the demonstrators. The courts had pulled up the police for using force.

According to other senior officials, the other reason for switching to plastic batons is that, the areas around Jantar Mantar and Parliament Street usually witness demonstrations which sometimes get out of hand and the Police are forced to resort to a baton charge. These new plastic batons will hence be safer when they are used.