KL NEWS NETWORK
Militancy may be around and it may still require arms and ammunition. But the major situational variation is the civil unrest that requires a new arsenal. J&K police are making good purchases of a series of items that help it manage stone pelting.
Though the police have not offered even a single detail about what it uses to “fight” stone pelters with, it have, however, detailed its purchases required for protection of its personnel. The protective gear the cops use start from routine cane-shields to the now transparent poly carbonate shields. There are leg guards, chest guards, helmets and, more recently petrol masks. Total outgo on the purchases for protective gear of its cops has cost the police a whopping Rs 140254263.
In response to a question by Firdous Tak, a former scribe pitch forked by PDP to be its member in the House of Elders after his abortive bid to be an MLA from Kishtwar, the state home ministry has tabled details of ‘protective gear’ purchases in last five years.
Cumulatively, the details reveal the police have purchased a total of 19000 chest guards for Rs 15479040 between 2010-11 and 2014-15 that end in March last. Other purchases include 12295 leg guards for Rs 2952141; 12050 shields for Rs 14775982; 20000 helmets for Rs 9995000; 10000 cane shields for Rs 4813100; and 9750 full body protectors for Rs 919910001000. In the last financial year, the police have also procured 1000 petrol masks for Rs 248000.
It is interesting to mention here that the police that was in the battle gear after 1990 was taken by surprise in 2008 when the land row witnessed tens of thousands of people protesting on the streets. Initially, the police used the guns to manage the situation which led to the fall of the Ghulam Nabi Azad government.
In panic, when the police started hunting for the routine gear to manage the situation, they lacked almost everything – the cane shields, the bamboo sticks and even tear smoke shells. Its arsenal was full with guns and grenades. Desperate, the police flew a few planeloads of this basic mass-management gear from some north eastern states, reportedly on loan. Later, the police started recreating its own inventory of the items that it requires in basic policing. Given the fact that stone pelting is just the other routine in Kashmir, J&K police might be the only cop in India which is battle ready, regardless of the situation whether it fires a bullet or throws a stone.