India

Indian police hire hypnotist to 'cure addictions'

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Police in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh have sought the help of a hypnotist to help their men give up drinking alcohol and smoking.

Senior officers believe that alcoholism has become a problem in the force with reports of drunk policemen on duty coming in from parts of the state.

Last week, a local TV channel showed a policeman passing out after drinking alcohol in the capital, Raipur.

India's policemen say they are overworked and many suffer from stress.

Recently, the local police hired hypnotist VL Soni for a 30-minute session with some 200 policemen who were "alcoholic, overweight or depressed".

After the session ended, Mr Soni announced that all the policemen who attended the session "would soon get rid of their habit of consuming alcohol".

Participants said the session was "dramatic".

They said Mr Soni called up a policeman "on the mobile phone and soon hypnotised him". He also made another policeman sing folk songs during the session, and also showed a film clip on hypnotism.

Participants also said that a cigarette was lit up and the smoke blown at a policeman, who "began to feel nauseous".

"This is exactly what is going to happen to anyone who boozes after this session," Mr Soni reportedly told the gathering.

"This is a kind of meditation. The policemen will have to practise it at home as well. They will soon give up their addiction to alcohol. Whenever they go to drink, they will feel nauseous."

Encouraged by the session, senior Raipur police official Deepanshu Kabra now wants to rope in the hypnotist to help his men "get rid of extra fat and hypertension".

The police is also contemplating using the hypnotist during interrogation of suspects "for solving important cases", an official said.

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