India using chilli, stun grenades to resist Rohingya influx

New Delhi: India along its eastern border with Bangladesh is using “chilli and stun grenades” to resist Rohingya Muslims from entering the Indian territory, who are fleeing violence, officials said on Friday.

Border forces want to deport around 40,000 Rohingya living in India, citing security threats. They have been authorised to use “rude and crude” methods to stop any infiltration attempts.

While highlighting the measures they are taking, a senior official with the Border Security Force (BSF) in New Delhi said: “We don’t want to cause any serious injury or arrest them, but we won’t tolerate Rohingya on Indian soil.”

“We’re using grenades containing chilli spray to stop hundreds of Rohingyas trying to enter India … the situation is tense,” he added declining to be identified, reported India Today.

A chilli grenade uses a naturally-occurring compound in chilli powder which causes severe irritation and temporarily paralyses its target.

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More than 420,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August 25. The United Nations has called the assault “ethnic cleansing”. Rohingyas have been staying in shelters and camps in the bordering town of Coz Bazar in Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government is turning combative towards the Rohingya in India, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh calling them on Thursday, the illegal migrants.