New Delhi: The government has floated global tenders to procure about 4,000 specialised "human detecting" night vision devices in the wake of the recent controversial encounter in Chhattisgarh where allegations of killing civilians were levelled against the CRPF.
The paramilitary force, through a multi-country tender, wants to procure a total of 3,804 passive night devices (monocular) besides 3,241 binocular devices which will be given to the troops conducting anti-Naxal operations during night as part of the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) implemented by the CRPF recently.
There have been rare instances when paramilitary forces go for global tenders to procure a gadget.
The mandatory requirement of these night vision gadgets, according to the tender, is to "detect and recognise human beings within 125-200 metres in star lit conditions without moonlight".
Sources said a multi-expert team from various central security agencies including the elite commando force NSG, drew up the tender requirements that are aimed to give the troops the "best eye in the dark".
"The aim to get such a device is to see clear and identify as much as possible about a human gathering which could have been used by Naxalites as their shield at dark," a senior security official said.
Formations undertaking anti-Naxal operations in various states have many times reported that armed Maoist cadres, when trapped by security forces, hide behind local villagers or their hutments and plan either an escape or resort to counter-fire to avoid casualties on their side.
The qualitative requirements of the global tender also specify usage of Infra Red lasers in these devices which can be used to detect humans "in totally dark environment" as experienced in jungles and villages in Naxal affected states.
The tenders are scheduled to complete bidding by year-end.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), with about 80,000 troops deployed for anti-Maoist operations, drew flak after the encounter in Basuguda in Chhattisgarh where 19 people were killed while six troopers were injured.
The state police and CRPF till now claim to have found that out of the dead, nine had police records to show that they were Naxal cadres. An inquiry is still on.