CRPF convoys in Kashmir to be Led by SP Rank Officer


As per the changed SOP (Standard Operating Protocols), the CRPF headquarters in Delhi move to depute a second-in-command rank officer (equivalent to Superintendent of Police rank) of the force to lead the convoy instead of the current practice of a junior Assistant Commandant-rank (Assistant SP) officer heading the team.


A set of new standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the force headquarters in Delhi has also been accessed for vehicle-mounted movement of troops in Jammu and Kashmir, and it has also been ordered that the ‘passenger manifest discipline’ for each vehicle in the convoy be strictly adhered to.

Till now, the convoy commander or the Assistant Commandant used to report through the Commandant to their higher-ups.

The convoy commander usually travels in the lead in a communications gadget-fitted vehicle comprising armed troops for quick reaction. It has also been decided that the convoy strength will not go beyond 40 vehicles in any case and “all possible efforts” will be made to essentially keep the number of vehicles in a motorcade to the least possible of about 10-20 for effective management and control, they said.

A CRPF bus in the fifth position of a 78 vehicle convoy was targeted by a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber after he detonated his explosives-laden SUV near it on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama on February 14.

The over 2,500 personnel strength convoy was being commanded by an AC-rank officer and all 39 personnel in the ill-fated bus and a sub-officer stationed on the ground, as part of a road sanitisation party, were killed in the deadly blast.

A transit facility in Udhampur will reduce the time taken and the risk involved in running convoys, which cannot be done away with completely despite the government recently allowing all personnel to take a flight to Srinagar from either Jammu or Delhi, they said.

The around three lakh personnel strength force has about 65 battalions or about 70,000 personnel deployed in the Kashmir Valley and has two sectors, Kashmir and Kashmir operations, headed by two Inspector General rank officers.

CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar told that they are going to procure a new fleet of mine protected vehicles, small 30-seater buses and provide more partial armour to its troop carrying buses to ensure safety of jawans post the Pulwama attack, the worst in the valley on security forces in over three decades.

           

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