SRINAGAR: The union home ministry has sanctioned over 40,000 bulletproof jackets and 170 armoured vehicles for the use of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir valley and anti-Naxal offensives in various states, reports reveal.
According to the sources in the ministry, a total of 176 medium bullet-proof vehicles have been sanctioned and each of them can seat about 5-6 armed troops. Besides, the CRPF has “re-fabricated” about 80 Maruti Gypsy vehicles as part of enhancing the protection to its personnel against bullet shots, grenade attacks and stone-pelting in Kashmir.
The sources said these vehicles can withstand grenade attacks, gunshots aimed from a distance and other fatal attacks.
As part of its modernization plan, the government has also sanctioned about 42,000 “light bulletproof jackets” to provide enhanced protection to troops’ vital body parts like neck and the groin area as the overall surface area of each such vest is larger than the older ones. The new jackets, reports said, “weigh 40 per cent lesser than the bullet-proof jackets in use at present.” The older ones weigh around 7-8 kgs.
Reportedly, there are about 3.25 lakh personnel of CRPF deployed about 70 battalions in Kashmir while about 90 such units are based in various LWE violence-hit states.
Each CRPF battalion has an operational strength of around 1,000 troops.