New Delhi: Over 40,000 bullet proof jackets and 170 armoured troop carriers have been sanctioned by the Union home ministry for the CRPF for use in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir valley and anti-Naxal offensives in various states, officials said.
They said the central paramilitary force has also “re-fabricated” and armour-plated about 80 Maruti Gypsy vehicles as part of providing protection to its personnel against bullet shots, grenade attacks and stone pelting incidents in the Kashmir operations grid.
A senior official told PTI that the force has been sanctioned a total of 176 medium bullet-proof vehicles and each of them can seat about 5-6 armed troops.
These vehicles can withstand grenade attacks, gun shots aimed from a distance and other fatal attacks. They will be provided to the CRPF units deployed for counter-insurgency duties in the Kashmir valley and anti-Naxal operations in various, they said.
The government has also sanctioned about 42,000 “light bullet proof jackets” for the troops of the country’s largest paramilitary force as part of its modernisation plan.
These jackets are advanced as they 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, they said.
Also, these new jackets weigh 40 per cent lesser that the bullet-proof jackets in use at present.
The older ones weigh around 7-8 kgs.
The force, in order to provide special protection to its troops in the Kashmir valley, has armour-plated at least 80 Gypsy model four-wheelers which are used by troops and ground officers to move around.
Many such armour-plated Gypsy vehicles of the force have been battered during stone pelting incidents in Kashmir and hence some have gone out of service while the rest required replacement.
The about 3.25 lakh personnel-strong force has deployed about 70 battalions in Kashmir while about 90 such units are based in various violence hit states.
Each CRPF battalion has an operational strength of around 1,000 troops.