Srinagar, Mar 6: The CRPF has decided to fine-tune the standard operating procedures (SOPs) framed to secure its convoys, in the wake of a “new threat” where an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated by a militants alongside the force’s bus in Pulwama killing 40 personnel, a top official of the CRPF said.
“We have decided to add new features to our convoy movement to and from Kashmir,” a top CRPF officer said. “Apart from traffic control, there will be changes in the timings of convoy, their halt locations and movement in coordination with other security forces like the Army and the J-K police.”
He said two convoys have been run after the attack at Lethpora in Pulwama and these new measures are being tested and implemented as part of the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, after his tour to the Valley post the blast, had said it has been decided that movement of civilian vehicles will be restricted when convoys of forces move in Jammu and Kashmir.
The officer said they have “discussed and laid down a new strategy” to not only secure the movement of convoys but also to enhance security measures for regular operations.
“I would not like to go into the specifics but we are formulating some strategies. This is something that we have done in the past and these things are dynamic,” the officer said.
Sources in CRPF said sending all troops from Jammu to Srinagar on aircraft to avoid the vulnerability of road movement, said there is “no alternative” to convoys. Air courier service for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) has been increased by adding flights from Delhi to Srinagar via Jammu and back in 2018.
On several occasions, helicopters and planes of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) are used to airlift CAPF troops to the Kashmir Valley, the sources said: “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.”(KNO)