New Delhi: With an increasing number of high-profile personalities coming under its security cover, CRPF has decided to provide these VVIPs with bulletproof protection during their movements across the country.
The force, which has recently been entrusted with the security of BJP chief Amit Shah under the top grade of 'Z+' armed commando cover, has also bolstered its VVIP security unit by tasking one more battalion or close to 1,000 troops for this task.
With this, a total of 4,000 commandos now constitute the elite VVIP security unit of the force, which is also the mainstay of anti-Naxal operations and other counter-insurgency operations in the country.
The force, sources said, will soon procure close to a dozen 'Bullet Proof' (BP) vehicles, which will be used to secure the VVIPs during road journeys, especially outside Delhi.
The need to procure these special vehicles, sources said, was felt after a threat analysis study by the force showed that these VVIPs have to be secured through "extraordinary" measures like usage of BP vehicles, a salient feature in the secret bluebook of elite units rendering VVIP security.
The country's largest paramilitary force, sources said, is procuring these vehicles after a gap of about four years as an increasing number of VVIPs, 42 at present, has necessitated such purchase. These vehicles were till now being largely used by CRPF for duties in Jammu and Kashmir.
The force, under the new plan, plans to obtain custom-made BP and armoured vehicles like Ambassador cars and a few SUVs, which can be deployed for swift and secure travel.
The paramilitary had procured these vehicles in the past from various Ordnance Factory Boards under Defence Ministry.
It plans to purchase the new ones not only from the government stable and the door has also been kept open for established private vendors.
Officials said these vehicles, once procured, will be stationed at various locations of the force in the country so that they can be used for accommodating VVIPs whenever they travel to any state.
"The vehicles will not only be used for VVIP duties but also for other tasks that the force renders in J-K and Naxal-violence affected states," a source said.
Sources privy to the development also said that with an increasing load of important dignitaries coming under the responsibility of the force, it becomes incumbent upon it to be equipped for the duty with all the required logistics.
The force is also updating its operating procedures in the VVIP security arena even as it plans to provide its men rigorous training in jungle warfare and commando techniques from special forces like the NSG 'black cats'.
Apart from Shah, the government has in the recent past tasked CRPF with providing security to BJP leaders Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy and to Congress leaders Sachin Pilot and V Narayanasamy. Last week, it was also asked to secure Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA and Muzaffarnagar riots accused Sangeet Som.
While CRPF has been in the VVIP security domain for many years now, its task in this theatre grew after RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani was accorded 'Z' category security early last year.