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Bordumsa Encounter: Report on Bulletproof Jackets Submitted

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 10: The inquiry report of the killing of then Bordumsa (Tinsukia district) OC Bhaskar Kalita in an encounter with the ULFA-I along with the quality analysis of the bulletproof jacket worn was submitted to the State Chief Secretary on Friday. The content of the sealed report is yet to be made public.

The OC was killed in an encounter with the ULFA on May 4 this year even when he had worn a bulletproof vest. The bullet pierced through the bulletproof jacket and the OC’s body as well, killing him on the spot. The usual course followed is bulletproof vests are ‘put to the proof’ to ascertain their quality after their manufacture i.e. before approval for their use. However, in the instant case, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had to ‘put the quality of the bulletproof jackets to proof’ yet again since a militant’s bullet pierced through one of the vests worn by the OC.

The inquiry was conducted by Additional Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna and he was assisted by ACS officer Mukut Phukan. The inquiry committee submitted its report to the Chief Secretary on Friday.

Sources say that the bulletproof jackets were procured by the then State Police force during the tenure of the Congress in the State. The quality of the bulletproof vests is very much under question after the death of the OC in an encounter with militants. Some questions that crop up now are: is the quality of the bulletproof vests in use in Assam substandard? If not, how come a militant’s bullet pierces through it? Did those at the helm of affairs while purchasing the bulletproof vests in the then police force of the State compromise on quality, putting the lives of personnel wearing them to peril? And if they did, at whose behest?