The Assam pavilion at the Mega Science, Technology and Industry Expo in Lucknow witnessed heavy footfall. Students, young researchers and even senior officials of Uttar Pradesh were fascinated by the ghost chili or the ‘bhut jolokia’. Assistant Director of Horticulture Department, Madan Mohan Deuri Bharali, said that they have showcased several new varieties of horticulture products, including a paste of ‘bhut jolokia’, yet unnamed, being produced by a local entrepreneur. Deuri Bharali said that the horticulture growth rate in Assam has contributed towards the growth of agriculture in Assam.
In 2009, scientists at India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) announced plans to use the peppers in hand grenades, as a non-lethal way to flush out terrorists from their hideouts and to control rioters. It would also be developed into pepper spray as a self-defense and anti-rape product. DRDO said bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays could be used as a ‘safety device’, and ‘civil variants’ of chili grenades could be used to control and disperse mobs.
Chili grenades made from bhut jolokia were successfully used by the Indian Army in August 2015 to flush out terrorist Sajjad Ahmed, who was hiding in a cave. In August 2016, Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh announced that the Indian security forces will replace the controversial pellet guns with pepper grenades.