Anti-Naxal Force to get hi-tech equipment

Anti-Naxal Force to get hi-tech equipment

Home dept to provide 543 personnel night vision goggles, bullet proof jackets

The Home Department has decided to equip all 543 personnel of the ANF with night vision goggles cum binoculars, bullet proof jackets and bullet proof helmets. The Government has already placed an order for 15 goggles with Bharath Electrical Limited, Machilipatnam. Each these night vision goggles (model BENG-0502) costs Rs 1.96 lakh.

“If the particular model of goggle being manufactured by the BHL is found to be useful, further orders will be placed,” official sources told Deccan Herald. Naxal activities are spread across seven districts of the State. Of late, naxals are active more in the Malnad areas of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur -- all inside Kudremukh National Park.

The ANF personnel find it difficult to track naxals in the thick forest, especially during night. On the other end, naxals most of them being locals, know the forest area pretty well. This has proved to be a disadvantage to the ANF, officials explained.

Though the Government realised the need for hi-tech equipment a year ago, they were supplied in small numbers -- as they were expensive. “We have very few night vision goggles now. So, they are used only by those who go on night operation on need based emergencies,” a top official of the ANF said.

The official further said, “If all personnel of the force are provided with the hi-tech equipment, the anti-naxal operation will become very effective. Night and patrolling operations can be intensified in the forest areas and naxals can be easily tracked.”

When contacted, Home Minister V S Acharya said the Government wants to make the ANF more effective. “Besides, we want to ensure safety of our personnel. Hence, it has been decided to provide them with night vision goggles, bullet proof jackets and helmets. Necessary funds have been set aside for this purpose,” he added.