Srinagar: Armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir have strengthened the bullet-proofing shield of their vehicles and bunkers after steel bullets that can pierce through normal protective shields were “recovered from militants” during a military operation in south Kashmir recently, news agency PTI reported.

A few days back, the local commander of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Vilayat Hussain Lone alias Sajjad Afghani, was killed in a military operation. The army had claimed that it recovered 36 rounds of armed steel-core bullets.

The recoveries raised alarm bells as these bullets can harm personnel even wearing a regular protective shield, the report said.

Quoting officials, the report said that now the vehicles, especially deployed in south Kashmir, and personnel moving for counterinsurgency operations are equipped with shields that have an extra layer of protection for blunting such penetrative bullets.

The ammunition normally used in the AK series rifles was being modified from across the border with the help of Chinese technology of encasing bullets with hard steel core, the report said quoting officials.

The bullet, termed Armour Piercing (AP), is built of hardened steel or tungsten carbide, they explained.

The first incident of use of the ‘steel core’ bullet was noticed on the New Year eve of 2017 when JeM militants had carried out a suicide attack on a CRPF camp in Lethpora in south Kashmir.

Five paramilitary personnel were killed in the attack and one of them was hit by a bullet fatally despite using a static bullet-proof shield provided by the Army, the report said.

Quoting the officials, the report further said that normally, the bullets militants use in their assault rifles have a lead core covered with mild steel which cannot penetrate a bullet-proof shield, but after the December 31, 2017 operation and detailed analysis, forces had to change the way they protected themselves.

The report said that militants mainly from the Jaish group, were armed with the best possible arsenal including M-4 carbines and bullets with steel core, with the capability to pierce a static bullet proof bunker used during the operations.

After the December 31, 2017 attack, the then Additional Director General of CRPF for Jammu and Kashmir S N Shrivastava, who now heads the Delhi Police, had conducted a thorough inquiry which revealed that the bullet fired by the militant from the assault AK rifle was of a steel core with the capability of piercing through the static bunkers used by armed forces during military operations against militants.

 

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