Piku Mukherjee: CRPF Jawans are in the line of fire but till now no bulletproof jackets for Jawans in Maoist zone like Sukma, Bastar, and Jharkhand area. During any major deployment, the maximum deployment is by the CRPF. In fact, CRPF jawans are always on the move. Even during elections, the CRPF is deployed. They just don’t get the time for rest or recuperation. But, the irony is that they did not get proper equipment as well as Bullet proof vests for there operations.
The Indian army has received the first lot of 50,000 bulletproof jackets for its soldiers on 2016 in the middle of October-November, the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar told in Rajya Sabha. But the question is…is these jackets vanished? Or these jackets did not give to the Jawans. The Army desperately needs 3,53,765 new bullet-proof vests and 50,000 is given. Its created huge shortage of such vests in the 1.18-million strong Army. We have been Witnessed bloody scenes on Monday when Maoists killed 26 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans in an ambush attack. Even after, another naxal attack on Jharkhand on the same day where three jawans were injured.
The Central Reserve Police Force, the principal counter-Maoist arm in the country, is also facing an acute shortage of mine-protected vehicles (MPV) in the rebel-infested areas of Chhattisgarh. If Government takes initiative role to give bulletproof vests and MPV to the Jawans then this would never be happened.
The Bengali Scientist Dr Shantanu Bhowmik Of Amrita University, was created Light Weight bullet proof jackets for jawans but DRDO till now did not approve these jackets. After six months of creating this jacket, is till now in deep water. Another important matter is that this jacket is very much light weight. The weight of the vest is 1.5 kilograms as against currently available vests with similar protection but weighing around 10-13 kgs. If this light weight jackets approved then jawans wear jackets for every time and ready to prepare for Naxal attack at any time.
Another question raised in our mind that doesn’t it show that the existing strategy of anti-Maoist operations is failing? And the fault may be failure to build a capable police force. But at an operational level, too, things must change. If Government responds quickly on bullet proof jackets at first as before bullet trains then many Jawans precious life may be saved.