Guwahati: Bhut jolokia has made its way back home to Assam, but in an all-new avatar, as a ‘chili grenade’. The state police are now armed with this non-lethal yet effective weapon to fight against unruly mobs.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) formulated this weapon using oleoresin extracted from bhut jolokia and is apt for low-intensity conflict areas as well as to handle riot-like situation.
The chili, native of Assam in Northeast India, was recorded as the hottest pepper in the world in 2007, scoring a whopping 10,41,427 on the Scoville heat units (SHU), 20 times hotter than cayenne. However, the pepper now ranks 7 with Carolina Reaper topping the heat scale at 22,00,000 SHU, almost double the piquancy of ghost chili.
The chili is a delicacy savoured across Northeast India. From pickles, chutneys and as a side dish, the people of NE have braved the chili. And now that the edible treat has been converted into a weapon, the spice will explode more than just taste buds.