A Pakistani terrorist affiliated to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had used Chinese-made steel bullets to inflict maximum casualty on the Indian security forces

New Delhi: After reports surfaced that Pakistani terrorists had used Chinese-made steel-coated bullets while carrying out June 12 suicide attack in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, security forces in J&K have chalked out a plan to further reinforce the bulletproof vests used by the forces. 

The security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are taking long term measures to counter the growing threat posed by terrorists by using of steel-coated armour piercing bullets.

Five CRPF personnel and a police officer died in the June 12 attack after which the Army came out with a plan to upgrade and improve the bullet-proof equipment, including helmets and jackets used by the troops deployed in the Valley.

The report about the use of lethal bullets emerged after an internal probe revealed that the Fidayeen terrorist, a Pakistani national from Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), used them to inflict maximum casualty on the Indian security forces.

After the probe, security agencies and state police came up with a plan to plug the loophole.

The magazine of the assault rifle used by the slain terrorist was loaded with 18 live steel-coated bullets even after he had used quite a few of them to target the CRPF troops and the State Police, IANS quoted Station House Officer (SHO), Arshad Khan as saying.

A further probe by the CRPF revealed that the JeM terrorists had also used steel-coated bullets in 2017.

Till the time the current bulletproof vests are not upgraded or phased out, the forces will be using additional protective layers in the existing vests. 

Speculations are rife about the role of Pakistan’s ISI or the Army for providing such ammunition to the terrorists given the fact that it’s hard for them to get access to sophisticated weaponry. It is a known fact that in the past, the Chinese have provided weapons and ammunition to the terror groups in Northeast India to keep the insurgency alive and kicking.

From December 2014 to January 2015, Indian security forces launched a massive counter-insurgency operation against the NDFB (Songbijit) which is designated as a terrorist outfit by the GoI. During the operation around 140 cadres were arrested and a top commander was killed, however, what surprised the security forces was the recovery of Chinese made assault rifles including copies of German Heckler & Koch HK33 and US-made M-16 and AK series rifles. Around 3,000 rounds of ammunition were also seized.

Later, Intelligence agencies learned that representatives from the NDFB (Songbijit) had visited China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) headquarters in Beijing which is one of the largest government-owned weapons manufacturers in China.

Now, with the evidence of Chinese-made ammunition used by the terrorists the security forces are gearing up to re-enforce their bulletproof jackets.

As per the media reports the India Army was set to receive brand new bulletproof jackets by the month of April this year but so far no information has been received in this regard.

The Defence Ministry had signed Rs 639-crore contract with an Indian manufacturer SMPP Pvt. Ltd for the supply of these jackets.