The barbarous attack that led to the death of 40 Central Police Reserve Force (CRPF) personnel by a suicide bomber using the improvised explosive devices (IED) on February 14, 2019, has alarmed the need of security escalation for the CRPF personnel deployed in the Kashmir valley. The CRPF will procure a new fleet of mine protected vehicles (MPV’S) and small 30-seater, bullet resistant buses to ensure the safety of its troop convoys, the chief of the force has said.
The country’s biggest paramilitary force has decided to increase the number of its bomb detection and disposal squads (BDDS) in the Kashmir valley, where about 65 battalions are stationed for anti-terror activities and maintaining peace at the border.
Mine protected vehicles have become crucial in the valley following the wake of intelligence inputs that militants might face more bomb attacks. The new bomb detection and disposal squads(BDDS) will be commissioned keeping the inputs in mind.
“New standard operating procedures for convoy movement have been put in place to avoid any Pulwama-like attacks,” the officer said.
“We are enhancing our counter-IED capabilities in Kashmir. We are procuring and sending more MVP’S and are bulletproofing our force buses. As it is difficult to armor large buses, we are looking at procuring smaller 30-seat buses that can be better armor-plated,” CRPF Director General (DG) R R Bhatnagar told PTI. Bulletproofing the large buses will restrict the speed and endurance of the vehicle due to the weight of additional metal.
However, to prevent attacks like Pulwama, a new procedure for convoy movement will have to be taken into consideration that includes, restricting the movement of civilian vehicles, regularly changing the halting points and dynamic movement of convoys to and from Kashmir valley, the officer said.
In response to the Pulwana attack criticism of allowing large convoys to travel by road in terror-prone areas, the Home Ministry allowed the CRPF deployed in the Kashmir valley to take the flight while going in to join duty or for the tour and while proceeding on leave.