Faulty jackets killed Mumbai bravehearts

deepak pace

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 7:43 AM (Mumbai)
Several innocent lives were lost in the Mumbai terror attacks and 14 of them were policemen, including Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who were killed in the line of duty.

However, now investigations have revealed that some lives could have been saved if the police had been better equipped.

The question that has come up is that did out of date bulletproof jackets fail to protect the lives of Mumbai's cops as they took on terrorists?

NDTV tried to investigate why the outdated jackets hadn't been updated. A shocking fact uncovered that even with something as life saving as bulletproof jackets, there has been corruption.

"The bulletproof jacket failed tests when fired on dummies wearing them. Karkare, Kamte, Salaskar and others would have been with us if the defective jackets had been immediately recalled and not distributed to the police. A case of corruption and criminal abetment leading to death should be registered against those involved," said Y P Singh, former commandant, SRPF.

An anti-corruption enquiry found that two batches of equipment between 2001 and 2004 were sub-standard. But the government returned the report promising to order new vests. Then, the second lot supplied in 2004 was also found to be inadequate.

All jackets failed tests at the Goregaon State Reserve Police Firing Range. But these were still distributed to policemen across the state.