Police in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have trialled drones equipped with pepper-spray to control protestors from the air.

Northern city of Lucknow police chief Yashasvi Yadav was reported by AFP as saying that the police force has test-flown the five newly purchased drones.

Yadav said: "We have managed to work out how to use it to precisely target the mob in winds and congested areas.

"We can spray from different heights to achieve maximum results."

"Pepper is non-lethal but very effective in mob control. We can spray from different heights to have maximum results."

The police department plans to implement the unmanned drones later this month.

Equipped with high-resolution cameras, the drones are designed to fly within a 1km radius of their operator, and carry 4.4lb of pepper-spray.

Indian Express quoted Yadav as saying: "Earlier, we used the drone cameras for specific purposes. But, these four drones will help us in daily policing like traffic control and taking the live images of any area.

"We will be able to identify people who violate traffic rules."

Drones were earlier used by the police for aerial surveillance during religious festivals in the region.