Bullet-proof vehicles, wall-through radars and drones are some of the new gadgets inducted by CRPF into its counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir, leading to precision-based actions against terrorists.
Several of these high-tech equipment were used in Tuesday’s operation in Pulwama against two ultras of the TRF allegedly involved in killing of Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Sharma, who worked as a bank guard.
“In yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) encounter, we used a Critical Situation Response Vehicle (CSRV) that is bullet proof and it can be used for room intervention or to engage the enemy which is holed up inside a house. It has very little turning radius. It’s bulletproof and can be used to ram the walls. We also have bullet-proof JCBs that are similar in purpose,” IG CPRF (Kashmir Operations) M S Bhatia said.
The CSRV and the JCBs have a bullet-proof cabin mounted on a forklift for security personnel to gain advantage of height against the adversary without being exposed to danger.
The CSRV cabin provides 180-degree protection while the JCBs have 360-degree protection for the soldiers inside the bullet-proof cabin.
Bhatia said drones were also being used by the force and they have played a vital role in counter-insurgency operations in the valley.
“Drones are something which is increasingly used by us for the surveillance of national highways during the movement of our convoys. The drones are used extensively during the Amarnath Yatra also. We also use drones in developing encounter situations in operational scenarios, to see where the enemy is hiding or whether he has been neutralised or not,” he added.
Wall-through radars (WTR) and hand-held thermal imagers (HHTI) are the other gadgets that have reduced the risk for jawans in complex operations.
“HHTI are also used. We have them in every battalion especially in south Kashmir which is more affected as far as terrorism is concerned. They are also acting as force multipliers while approaching jungles and hideouts. While shooting in the dark, it helps to know exact focus,” he added.
Bhatia said the CRPF has used technology in the valley like CCTV surveillance along the entire national highway after the Pulwama terrorist attack in 2019.
“We have set up 14 nakas on NH, all are equipped with CCTV cameras and footage is examined and analysed round-the-clock by officers,” he said.
Bhatia said the bullet proofing of the vehicles used by CRPF has been taken up in a big way.
“We have launched bullet-proof vehicles on a large scale. Some of them are done in factories while some are locally fabricated. We have introduced mine-proof vehicles and medium bullet-proof vehicles in the valley. They are also acting like multipliers so that our jawans feel secure,” he said.
Asked if MP-5 rifles were used by the force in the valley, Bhatia replied in the affirmative.
“We have procured MP-5 rifles but there is use of certain weapons in certain scenarios. So MP-5 weapons are definitely there in the valley with us but used only depending on the situation. We use our telescopic guns also but the general stock of weapons we use in the valley is AK-47,” he added.