The Delhi Metro unit of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), one of the country’s premier paramilitary forces, has made a proposal to buy paintball guns for target practice during mock drills, an officer privy to details of the proposal said. The proposal was last month sent by the CISF’s Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) unit in Shastri Park to the CISF headquarters. Once cleared, the proposal will be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval. All Metro stations in Delhi are guarded by the CISF.
According to a senior officer, any commando hit by a paintball will leave the mock drill and be required to refine their armed combat skills. Senior officers said this will help them filter the best of their shooters and do away with conventional security mock drills in which commandos practice positions with unloaded weapons. The move comes after a committee was formed to advance the CISF’s urban warfare techniques. Jitender Rana, senior commandant, CISF, confirmed the initiative. He said the motive is to check the skills of the commandos in urban warfare.
“At present, we cannot shoot real bullets during mock drills as it will spark panic. We have excelled the close combat technique, but with paintball guns we will get a clear picture of how good our men are at shooting,” Rana said. He added that the Delhi Metro has a small built-up area.
“Our men need to be skilled to make sure they are not hit by enemy bullets. They must also be efficient enough to ensure every bullet fired in a real-time terror situation, takes down the enemy. Whichever commando is hit with a paintball will be required to refine their skills in armed close combat. This will also help us identify the best shooters in our force with the best real-time response,” the senior commandant said.
Rana said paintball guns are used across the world to practice urban warfare. “Initially, we have requested to buy 30 to 50 paintball guns. The approval is pending,” he added.
The decision to form the SWAT was taken last year, after a CISF joint mock drill with the National Security Guard (NSG) and disaster management agencies at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Metro station.