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More firepower to CISF armoury

By Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

NEW DELHI, MARCH 5. Three years after being recommended by the Group of Ministers to provide VIP security, the Central Industrial Security Force has now decided to procure state-of-the-art Glock pistols and MP-3 sten guns for its specially trained personnel.

Sources in CISF said the Austrian-make Glock pistols of 17 series and the German MP-3 sten guns are the most light, efficient and accurate weapons in their class. Also, they provide adequate firepower to meet any exigency. While the Glock pistols can fire up to 100 rounds and two shots at the press of a trigger - so that at least one bullet finds its mark to perfection - the MP-3 sten guns can fire a burst and can neutralise any given target is no time.

The official said the Force is expecting the weapons to be delivered to it soon after the elections. With the basic infrastructure for bomb detection and disposal already in place, this would enable CISF to take up the responsibility of VIP security at the very first call.

To this end, about 500 CISF personnel have undergone training in use of these advanced weapons. Though they have still not found a place on the VIP security front, the Force is going to make the best possible use of these trained personnel in the coming elections by posting them in the Naxal violence prone regions of Jharkhand.

Incidentally, CISF is also going to place about 200 companies at the disposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for deployment in various parts of the country during the forthcoming elections.

As for taking up the role of VIP security, a senior official said, the main hindrance is that those dignitaries who like the presence of National Security Guard commandos around them -- as their uniforms are impressive and create a fear psychosis in the minds of the people - are resisting the induction of CISF into this arena.

Still, continuing with its training programme, CISF is opening a new Academy for advanced training near Behrod mid-way between Delhi and Jaipur. Also, the Force has deployed its personnel on security of the President and the Vice-President as it awaits taking up similar important assignments.

Meanwhile, the Director General of CISF, K.M. Singh, said it was in June 2001 that the Group of Ministers recommended that the security of VIPs be ideally given to the CISF as it was a professionally trained force. He said other Central Para-Military Forces such at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police or the National Security Guard had been formed to serve other specific purpose.

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