December 1, 2008 9:34:38 am
After being on non-stop duty for three days and nights, Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) Anup Dange is now planning to do some shopping. His shopping list: a state-of-the art bulletproof jacket and a helmet.
Back in his L T Marg police station office now, the cop is busy surfing the internet to check out prices of different bulletproof vests and helmets.
Dange is frustrated with the state machinery and the facilities provided to the police force to face challenges of such magnitude as the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks. “We have jackets that prove useless when we have to face terrorists wielding AK-47s.”
According to him, the three top cops — Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar — might have had more chance of staying alive if it wasn’t for the sub-standard jackets. “The jackets are totally useless,” said Dange. He is now willing to shell out several thousand dollars to buy a jacket that will help in securing his life.
According to him, there are different levels of jackets, starting from those that can withstand shots from pistols, handguns and carbines to those that can survive bullets from the mighty AK-47s.
Meanwhile, former IPS officer Y P Singh has said that the bulletproof jackets used by Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar were of sub-standard quality. They were used on dummies a few years ago in Goregaon and were reported to be of sub-standard quality, he added. “Despite this, the authorities went ahead and procured the jackets. Officers like Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar would not have died had the jackets complied with the specifications,” Singh said.
Singh had himself tested a jacket and reported to the authorities about its sub-standard quality. “Crores of rupees are being pumped into police modernisation, but favouring suppliers by relaxing conditions has become very common,” Singh said, adding that a high-level probe was needed in this regard.
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