Army, CRPF seeks fresh ban on sale of combat uniforms
Srinagar: Concerned over the use of combat uniforms by militants, the government forces have once again sought a fresh ban on the sale of combat uniform in the state.
Sources said that the forces operating in valley have written to the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs demanding strict ban on the sale and purchase of combat uniform, especially in the Valley.
The move has been initiated fearing apprehensions that militants may misuse the combat uniforms.
“In every video clip we see militants in Army fatigue. Not only Army combat dresses, they use other combat uniforms of CRPF, BSF and other forces. It is a point of concern. Recently we got hold of a video in which militants were wearing CRPF uniform,” said a top Army official.
Pertinently, militants in Army combat uniforms have carried out several attacks on army and paramilitary forces over the years. A deadly attack was carried out at the police lines in South Kashmir’s Pulwama last month in which 8 security personnel’s and three Fidayeens (wearing combat uniforms), who had stormed the camp, were killed. The encounter continued for two days.
Later, a similar attack was carried near the Srinagar International Airport, sending alarming bells ringing amongst the security establishment.
However, the administration has already imposed a blanket ban on the sale of combat uniforms but these uniforms are easily available in the market.
“Implementing the ban is not in our jurisdiction. It is the duty of the State government,” a top official in CRPF said.
“Anybody can buy it from anywhere. It needs to find out what the policy is and why it is available,” said a top Army officer at Srinagar based Army’s Chinar Corps headquarters.
The state government under notification number Div.com /PS/150-60/CID had earlier imposed ban on the sale and purchase of the combat uniforms but what has become a serious concern in the army and other security agencies is its easy availability in the market.
“Purchase, stitching, and storage of army combat uniform (camouflage and O.G colour) including stocking or sale of such ready-made dress materials, is strictly banned as per the order.”