Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Govt to procure 59,000 light-weight bullet-proof jackets

PTI Wednesday, December 9, 2009 17:20 IST

New Delhi: In what could be a major relief for central paramilitary personnel, the government will procure 59,000 light-weight bullet-proof jackets for them.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been designated as the lead force to procure the jackets for six Central paramilitary forces. The other five forces include NSG, CISF, ITBP, Assam Rifles and SSB.

Official sources said a single jacket will weigh about six-and-a-half kg which is much lighter than the over 14kg each bullet-proof jackets presently used by security personnel.

They said the decision to procure light-weight jackets was made following inputs and demand from all paramilitary forces.

Security personnel on the ground had often complained about the heavy bullet-proof jackets, saying the weight was a hindrance to their movements.

On an average, each security personnel posted in counter insurgency or anti-Naxal operation carried about 20kg of gear including the jacket, gun and ammunitions.

Many a times, some of the jawans used to take off their jackets while trekking for long in the tough terrains where they operate. Such practices use to put them at risk in case of an ambush, they said.

The CRPF had floated an open tender on July 3 this year under a two-bid system for procurement of such jackets.

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