Tue, 11 Oct 2011 17:06:23 GMT

Mine protected vehicles reduced to ''coffin on wheels'' in Naxal

New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI) The CRPF is looking for better ways to counter hidden IEDs as the mine protected vehicles it is using have become "coffin on wheels" in Naxal-hit states, the chief of the force said today.

"The mine protected vehicles...the expression is used as coffins...coffin on wheels. However, these vehicles cannot be completely written off and we are looking for better ways to take up the challenge," CRPF Director General K Vijay Kumar said at a conference here.

Kumar, credited for his earlier stint as the chief of the Special Task Force (STF) which eliminated sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, said the response in such cases has to more smarter and tactful and the force has reduced travelling on such vehicles.

Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosions have killed more than 150 security personnel and maimed many others in the last year in various naxal affected states of the country.

In a large number of cases, the mine protected vehicles have been blasted to smithereens as the explosives planted were as huge as 80 kgs and the occupants were killed instantly.

The force subsequently had issued orders to all its formations in the Naxal grid to shun the use of vehicles in these areas and patrol on foot. Only in very rare instances, vehicles and mine protected trucks are being used at present.

The CRPF had also recovered 1,547 IEDs during 2006-11 and the number has been increasing over the years, according to official data.

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