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Mine protected vehicles, 30-seater buses for CRPF convoys in Kashmir: DG


Mine protected vehicles, 30-seater buses for CRPF convoys in Kashmir: DG

Last Updated on : 25 Mar,2019 | Source : Universal News Timeline

The CRPF will procure a new fleet of mine protected vehicles (MPVs) and small 30-seater buses to ensure safety of its troop convoys in the Kashmir Valley, the chief of the force has said.

The paramilitary has also decided to enhance the number of its bomb detection and disposal squads (BDDS) for its about 65 battalions based in the Kashmir Valley for anti-terror and law and order duties.

These new measures have been chalked out by the force in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 personnel travelling in a bus, part of a convoy from Jammu to Srinagar, were killed by a suicide bomber as he exploded a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (IED).

"We are enhancing our counter-IED capabilities in Kashmir. We are procuring and sending more MPVs and are bullet-proofing force buses. As it is difficult to armour large buses, we are looking at procuring small 30-seater buses that can be better armour plated," CRPF Director General (DG) R R Bhatnagar told PTI.

The force uses MPVs for limited troop movements in the anti-Naxal operations theatre and some of them are being used in Jammu and Kashmir too. About six personnel can travel in these four-wheeled vehicles.

Bhatnagar said small buses can be better fabricated and provided bullet-resistant armour as compared to the standard large buses that seat 54-57 people.

A similar large bus was blown up during the Pulwama attack.

Officials said once a large bus is fabricated with bullet-proof sheets, its engine takes a toll and its speed and endurance is restricted due to the weight of the additional metal used for the armour.

The CRPF chief said it has been decided to provide bomb detection and disposal squads to each battalion of the force deployed in the Kashmir Valley and those units which had them, will see an increase in the number of personnel and equipment to detect and counter explosives and IEDs.

Seats have been increased in the Pune-based IED education school of the force so that more personnel are trained in the trade of detection and disarming such bombs in Kashmir, Bhatnagar said.

The bullet-proof armour to the buses will only save force personnel from firing attacks by terrorists and will not provide fool-proof protection from explosions like the one that was carried out in Pulwama, a senior officer said.

To counter Pulwama-like attacks, new procedures for convoy movement and protection have been notified, he added.

The new convoy movement procedure involves restricting the movement of civilian vehicles, regularly changing halting points and dynamic movement of convoys to and from the Kashmir Valley, he said.

Facing criticism for allowing large convoys to ply on roads in an operationally sensitive area like Jammu and Kashmir, the home ministry had announced last month that all jawans and officers of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) deployed in the Kashmir Valley can now take a commercial flight while going in to join duty or for tour and while proceeding on leave.

The CRPF cavalcade that came under attack on February 14 had seventy-eight vehicles and the ill-fated bus was fifth in line.

Owaisi brothers target Modi over Pulwama, 'chowkidar' campaign


Owaisi brothers target Modi over Pulwama, 'chowkidar' campaign

Last Updated on : 25 Mar,2019 | Source : Universal News Timeline


AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has hit  out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Pulwama attack and asked whether he "slept after eating beef biryani" while 40 CRPF men died.

Asaduddin's younger brother and party legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi too targeted Modi over his 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign and said if the prime minister wished to be a watchman, he would offer him a security guard's cap and a whistle.

Addressing an election campaign here Saturday, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin highlighted Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's statement that the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) detected the presence of around 300 "active" mobile phones at the training camp site struck by IAF jets in Pakistan's Balakot.

"I want to ask Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Modi that if NTRO can watch about 300 cell phones in Balakot then sitting in Delhi were you not able to see how 50 kg RDX was brought in Pulwama," Asaduddin questioned.

"...right under your nose 50 kg RDX was transported in Pulwama. Were you not able to see it? Were you sleeping? Did you eat biryani. May be you had beef biryani and slept. Here our 40 people died," he added.

On February 14, 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and several were injured in an attack in south Kashmir's Pulwama.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Akbaruddin, who represents Chandrayangutta constituency in Old City, and is known for hurling 'chaiwala' jibes at Modi, mocked the prime minister's chowkidar campaign.

"I am surprised at 'Modi Bhakts' and those who vote Modi. Sometimes Modi becomes chaiwala and sometimes fakir," he said.

"I want to tell Narendra Modi you were a 'chaiwala' and the public made you the prime minister but now you are saying you are chowkidar. Whose chowkidar? I am not on social media. A friend of mine showed about chowkidar Narendra Modi, chowkidar Amit Shah written on Twitter," he added.

"Why chowkidar only on Twitter? Put chowkidar on Aadhar card, voter card and also passport of Narendra Modi,"Akbaruddin said.

In the run-up to the general election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stepped up its 'Mai Bhi Chowkidar' campaign with Modi along with all senior ministers and party leaders, including president Amit Shah, prefixing the word "chowkidar" to their Twitter handles.

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