Mumbai: Seven years after the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai, the home department has managed to procure only 2,000 bullet-proof jackets in 2011 for over two lakh police personnel.
The state’s demand of 2,500 jackets more is still pending with the government of India since 2012. The information sought under RTI revealed that the demand for the jackets was not fulfilled even when the city lost some of its top police officers in the attacks due to faulty jackets.
Information regarding procurement of bullet-proof jackets and arms and ammunition for the last three years was sought from the DGP office. In its reply, the DGP office has said, “In 2011, home ministry provided 2,000 bullet proof jackets to Maharashtra police. No procurement of jackets was done in 2012 and 2013.” The DGP office further said that on January 20 2012, 2,500 bullet-jackets were ordered from the home ministry.
“The jackets ordered have not received by the home ministry till now,” the RTI filed by activist Chetan Kothari revealed.
During 26/11 terror attacks in 2008 several top ranking police officials such as Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar were killed due to faulty bullet-proof jackets. It was also pointed out by experts how Mumbai police were not trained to handle terror attacks. The Congress-NCP government was slammed for the negligence in protecting police officials and not providing adequate equipments to them. The government then ordered bullet-proof jackets through tendering process which failed due to several reasons. It then decided to get it from the Centre and the first 2,000 jackets were received in 2011.
This was one of the measures taken by the state government in the process of police modernisation. “The home department took many steps to upgrade the police force and provided them with latest equipments. The procurement of bullet-proof jackets was delayed as they were not fulfilling requirements. But then the state government decided to get them from the Centre instead of dealing directly with private firms,” an official from the home department said....