The last time the state police bought bulletproof vests was 16 years ago, in 2001, when it bought 110 vests, but they were woefully inadequate, as was proved in the 26/11 attacks.
Hemant Karkare just before going to encounter site during 26/11 attack
Additional Director General of Police V V Laxminarayana
Pune 11 May 2017 (PCP NEWS) : After several controversies later, the Maharashtra Police have placed an order for 5,000 Bulletproof Vests with M Kumar Udyog (MKU), a reputed military equipment manufacturer headquartered in Kanpur, Whose various products are used by 230 forces in over 100 countries worldwide including the United Nations and NATO, and provides protection to over 2 million soldiers and 2000 platforms, will be importing these vests from Germany, for Mumbai Police.
Additional Director General of Police V V Laxminarayana while speaking with PCP News Correspondent said that, We will be dividing the vests among our forces like Mumbai Police, Quick Response Team (QRT), Force One, State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), Special Forces, Gadchiroli police and police manning Naxal areas, this new and improved Vests will cost Rs 32,474 each and will be distributed among various units of the police force, last time the state police bought bulletproof vests was 16 years ago, in 2001, when it bought 110 vests, but they were woefully inadequate, as was proved in the 26/11 attacks.
Investigations later revealed that the vests were of a sub-standard quality and could insulate the police from shots fired from 9-mm pistols alone. The 2-lakh-strong Maharashtra police force currently has only 2,000 bulletproof vests, which were supplied by the Centre in March 2011.The jackets were tested at the Central Forensic Laboratory in Chandigarh and the results were positive. They were tested for the AK series of rifles, Self-Loading Rifles, MP5 submachine guns, Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) and other sophisticated weapons. We will be testing them again once we get the delivery in June, added Laxminarayana.
PCP News sources said that after 26/11 a Bomb Suit Scam was opened, After the hue and cry over substandard vests post 26/11, the government made a few attempts to procure bulletproof vests, but they were mired in controversy. In 2011, the government placed an order to buy 80 bomb suits costing Rs 6 crore, these suits were of sub-standard quality and never got delivered. The government lodged a complaint about the ‘Bomb Suit Scam’ with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) against the supplying company Techno Trade Impex and its directors Bimal Agarwal, Barkha and Kishore Agarwal.
On a anonymous identity an senior IPS officer admitted that IPS officers have been wary of ordering bulletproof vests or bomb suits, But one had to take a decision. We can’t just sit on files like this. Tomorrow, if something happens, we will be short of bulletproof vests, said this officer. The officer said that the contract was handed to MKU, which is a registered supplier for NATO and UN, after the due procedure. The company was selected from among four players for their experience and price. It recently launched a new technology which it terms as the 6th generation ballistic protection technology by the name “GEN-6” offering a substantial reduction in the weight and thickness of personal body Armour by 40 and 30 percent respectively.
MKU (originally incorporated as M Kumar Udyog) is an Indian defence company headquartered in Kanpur, India. The company manufactures protection and surveillance range of equipment and solutions, including Ballistic Helmets, Armour inserts, Bulletproof Vests, and Electro-optical devices like Night Vision Binoculars and Monocular. MKU was set up in 1985 in response to a need to build fibre-reinforced plastic products for the Indian Army. MKU has its centers of research and development in India and Germany that develop ballistic protection technologies for the company. MKU has its own In house Ballistic testing laboratory in Germany which can conduct ballistic testing up to STANAG Level IV including various other prevalent testing standards, globally. PCP/DJ 11 30