GUWAHATI, June 22 - Assam Police�s counter-insurgency personnel will soon be equipped with �Patkas�, a sophistically designed bullet-resistant combat headgear, usually worn by Army and paramilitary forces deployed in hostile situation.
This is for the first time that the Assam Police is going to procure bullet-resistant �Patkas� for its men.
After having completed the preliminary physical evaluation, the sample headgears would now be sent to the Gujarat Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Gandhinagar where the Patkas would undergo test-firing session to gauge their withstanding capacity.
In the first phase, around 350 Patkas will be procured by the Assam Police.
The issue of protective gear worn by the Assam Police personnel has been subjected to serious introspection from time to time.
The recent incident where Bhaskar Kalita, the officer-in-charge of Bordumsa Police Station was killed in an encounter also raised question on the quality of the protective gears, prompting the State government to initiate an high-level inquiry into it.
Sources in the Home Department told The Assam Tribune that the inspection team headed by IPS officer Anand Mishra has physically inspected the samples manufactured by four vendors which would soon be sent for test-firing.
The physically verification of the Patkas, which mostly relates to the weight and size of the combat headgears, was done at the 4th Assam Police Battalion recently by the inspection committee.
The inspection team also include ballistic expert Upen Bora as a member besides two other members, including one from the APBN.
Usually associated with the Army and the paramilitary forces, the Patkas can withstand close-range firing from even sophisticated AK series rifles and LMGs.
�In case of joint operation, it is seen that Assam Police personnel do not wear any protective headgear unlike the CAPF personnel, although on most occasions, it is the Assam Police which leads the operation.