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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Army hunts for guns to shoot around corners

THE TIMES OF INDIA

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-hunts-for-guns-to-shoot-around-corners/articleshow/5396467.cms

NEW DELHI: Having learnt lessons from the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the Army has launched a global hunt for suitable weapon systems `for shooting around the corner' for its troops involved in counter-terrorism operations.

These `cornershot' rifles and pistols, with detachable high-resolution video cameras and monitors mounted on them, will help Army special forces like the Para-SF units to effectively tackle terrorists in urban warfare scenarios.

"Such close-quarter combat weapons will help our commandos to observe and engage targets from behind a corner -- for instance, while storming a building or a room -- without exposing themselves to direct fire from terrorists,'' said an officer.

"American, Israeli and a few other forces already use such weapons... The front parts of their barrels, mounted with video cameras, can swivel 60 to 70 degree on either side to scan and direct fire around corners,'' he added.

Floating the Request for Information (RFI), the Army's weapons and equipment directorate wants armament companies to submit their proposals by January 30. This comes soon after elite counter-terror force National Security Guards launched the process to acquire cornershot weapons as well as wall surveillance radars to monitor what is the situation inside a room without actually entering it.

"Such new-generation equipment is very effective in neutralising terrorists in situations like 26/11, where commandos had to clear the five-star hotels in room-to-room flushing out operations,'' said the officer.

The Army's RFI specifies the cornershot weapons must be able to `engage targets effectively beyond 200 metres' and have day/night vision capability.

While the exact number of the weapons to be acquired is yet to be finalised, officers said transfer of technology to manufacture them indigenously was being sought since "a large quantity'' was required.

"The weapon systems should also have image downloading and transmission capability so that the enemy can be located and information shared with other troops to enable the commandos to take the best positions to engage the targets,'' said an officer.

Cricket cover for bloodshed

THE TELEGRAPH
 

I WONDER : THOUGH NO DIRECT RELATION BUT STILL DO WE ALL REMEMBER THE REACTIONS/COMMENTS BY MANY WHEN INDIAN SERVICES TEAM WITHDREW FROM RANJI CRICKET MATCH IN SRINAGAR.

Militants armed with pistols shot dead four paramilitary constables in a Kashmir town today and snatched two rifles before escaping as the bloodied state staggered towards the New Year under a fresh surge in violence.

One of the constables killed was from Purulia in Bengal, CRPF sources said, adding that other jawans in the group couldn’t fire back as children were playing cricket.

The afternoon attack in Sopore, 54km from Srinagar, came even as Valley police claimed a drop in militancy-related incidents to less than 500 this year, the lowest in 20 years.

Sopore additional police chief Abdul Waheed said three constables died on the spot while another succumbed to injuries later. Another jawan is in hospital.

Earlier, CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi said the constables of the 177 Battalion were on a road-opening operation when they came under attack in Warpora on the Sopore-Bandipora road.

“Three jawans were taken to an army hospital but were declared brought dead. The fourth has been shifted to 92 Base hospital in Srinagar and he, too, is critical.”

According to the spokesman, there were six CRPF men in all at the spot, in groups of two. “Two groups were attacked but the third could not fire at the militants since children were playing cricket,” Tripathi said. “Two AK assault rifles of the dead jawans are missing.”

Police sources said the militants snatched the rifles. “The militants were armed with pistols and opened fire at the four jawans from point-blank range,” an official said.

Official sources identified the dead as head constables A.K. Upadai and E.P. Prabakar and constables S.S. Dass and Kuldeep Singh. Dass is from Bengal. The injured constable’s name is Krishna Kanhaiya.