Hardly a month passes without press reports of tear gas being used in a public setting. Laxmi Vilas Ghimire and Sagun Narayan Joshi discuss its effects
- By: Laxmi Vilas Ghimire, Sagun Narayan Joshi
Tear gases are commonly used by police forces for controlling public demonstrations, dispersing crowds, and subduing people under arrest. In April 2006, thousands of Nepalese people went on to the streets of towns and cities in Nepal, including Kathmandu, to demonstrate against the autocratic rule of King Gyanendra, who came to power on 1 February 2005. Police fired hundreds of shells of tear gas to quell the peaceful demonstration. Although the autocratic rule of the king is over, many people are still recovering from the effects of the tear gas.
Tear gas was also used in Quebec City in 2001 and in Seattle in 1999, when thousands of people emerged to support the casualties of capitalism and globalisation. More than 5000 canisters of tear gas were used against demonstrators in Quebec City.1 Crowd control agents have also been used in Chile, South Korea, Nepal, Indonesia, and Israel. Students are often