As violence escalated in North-East district of Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) with pictures of private security force personnel in camouflage uniforms went viral, there have been speculations that the military was being called to regulate things within the city.
The speculations prompted the military to urge the Central government to not let the police forces wear combat uniforms. Sources said the Indian Army wrote to the Ministry of Defence on February 24, requesting it to issue guidelines to make sure this.
"Combat dress shouldn't be worn by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) pan India while being employed to handle law and order situations as also while being deployed in urban areas suffering from terrorism, because the surroundings don't demand such a requirement," a military source quoting the rules sought said.
The proposed guidelines add that the utilization of distinctly different [both in colour and pattern] disruptive uniform by the CAPFs and therefore the state police forces should be restricted only to its employment in jungle terrain in LWE-affected areas.
"The Bullet Proof Jackets (BPJs) cover most parts of the torso hence, the BPJs of CAPFs and therefore the state police forces should be of plain khaki colour and not of combat colour," the proposed guidelines read.
The sale of Army pattern clothes within the open market must be regulated, the rules said.
Private vendors in open markets should establish identity and maintain a record of personnel to whom the military pattern clothes are being sold, as proposed by MHA on 31 March 16, the military said.
"Over a period of your time , the CAPFs and therefore the state police forces in India have started wearing combat uniforms which are just slightly different from those worn by the Indian Army personnel. These minor variations can't be distinguished by most civilians, giving them the impression that the personnel wearing such dresses in cities and towns of India while engaged in internal security duties, escorting VIPs, on policing duties, static guard posts etc are Army personnel," the military source said.
Army said, "Wearing combat uniform by the CAPFs and therefore the police forces could also be misinterpreted because the Army being deployed for internal security duties and elections."
"This may have an adverse impact on our image as a vibrant democratic nation and would be detrimental to our national interests. Accordingly, the Indian Army, from time to time, has delivered to the notice of the MoD so as to approach the MHA about the increasing trend of the CAPFs and therefore the state police forces wearing combat uniforms almost like the military pattern," the source added.