Forces seeking jammers for human bombs
24 October 2000
The Asian Age
Srinagar: Islamic militants fighting the Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have shown a new side to their talent in warfare. They now frequently use improvised explosive devices to target the security forces, a strategy that is proving more virulent than the conventional tactics of an insurgency. They have also perfected suicide killings and the victims have included senior officers of security forces. Though several new outfits have emerged on the scene and are being promoted by Pakistan, it is the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba which has successfully carried out most of the suicide attacks inside the camps of the security forces in the recent past. The latest weaponry, which is supported by hi-tech communication gear in their possession, is only proving advantageous to the militants. By contrast, the security forces, the paramilitary forces in particular, are not adequately equipped to confront the ever-changing tactics of the militants. Seized of the situation, the security forces have asked for emergency purchases of essential military equipment which is on its way. A senior police officer said on Tuesday that one of the key equipment that is required by the security forces is jammer. Until recently the equipment would be imported from outside the country and each piece would cost about Rs 1 crore. But earlier this year, the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited began manufacturing a prototype of the apparatus which is less expensive and has already been made available to the security forces. Recently, the Army got about ten of these jammers for their counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir. These jammers would be used mainly by the road-opening-parties and escorts of VIPs. Inspector general of the CRPF (Kashmir range), P.C. Joshi, said his force had also asked for the equipment on the face of increasing IED explosions which are proving deadly. In each such militant strike, about 15 persons have fallen victim. Although he would require about 70 jammers for his 26 battalion-strong force, even 15-20 of these at his disposal would make a difference. “After we have these jammers with us, the danger of IEDs will be reduced to a great extent,” the officer said while replying to questions at a press conference here. He admitted that the enemy had developed a “faster and safe communication gear” for itself which is helping it in carrying out subversive activities. Particularly, the security forces were finding themselves somewhat handicapped while taking on militants hiding in higher reaches of Doda district. “Better communication gear and better mobility would make us a compact attacking force in such situations,” he said. Also needed by the CRPF, which has deployed 26 battalions and 3 women companies in the Kashmir valley alone and another 13 battalions in Jammu, are rocket launchers, latest assault rifles and hi-tech communication gadgets, he said.