After the Pulwama terrorists attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy, the para-military force has decided to make some changes in their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to secure their convoy from now on. The Force has decided that they will now coordinate with other security and police agencies and Indian Army before making movements from one location to another.
There will also be a change in timings of the convoy, traffic control and their halt locations. The force Director General RR Bhatnagar said two convoys have been run after the attack at Latoomode in Pulwama and these new measures are being tested and implemented as part of the Standard Operating Procedures. The force has applied it twice in coordination with other agencies. He said that there was no ambush on any CRPF convoy in the last two years and the effort is to neutralise such threats as much as possible.
Asked if there was an intelligence input suggesting that a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device could be used by terrorists in Kashmir to hit the forces, Bhatnagar said that he would not talk about things related to operations and intelligence. “There was no specific input and such an attack was completely new for the security forces in the valley,” said a senior CRPF officer. Rejecting the movement of troops from Jammu to Srinagar on aircraft, Bhatnagar said there is no alternative to convoys.
Air courier service for the Central Armed Police Forces has been increased by adding flights from Delhi to Srinagar via Jammu and back in 2018. “Many times the helicopters and planes of the Border Security Force and the Indian Air Force are also used to airlift CAPF troops to the Kashmir Valley. As the Jammu-Srinagar Highway was closed due to landslides, the convoy operated on February 14 after a gap of 10 days and there was a large backlog of personnel who were to be transported to Srinagar from the transit camp of the CRPF in Jammu,” a said the CRPF official adding that thus, running of the convoy has very little to do with the availability of air effort, which can only supplement the convoys and not replace them.
He, however, stressed that the proposal for introducing commercial Delhi-Srinagar-Delhi flights (seven days a week) and a separate Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu flight (four days a week) has also been sanctioned by the Union Home Ministry and would soon be operational. This would more than double the present capacity to 1,892 seats per week for the forces deployed in the Kashmir Valley.