India: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is contemplating to fit GPS devices to their guns. The idea is that if Maoists loot them, it will reveal their location and movements.
The only problem is no GPS device available in India has a battery life of more than a day. “We are exploring this idea. But we do not have that kind of technology at disposal at the moment. If some company can provide a device with long battery life that can last for a few days then it can be of some consequence operationally,” said a CRPF official.
In the recent Latehar encounter, which claimed lives of 10 security personnel, there was a clear intelligence lag that meant Maoists were always a step ahead. CRPF sources said that they had been tracking senior leader of CPI (Maoist) Arvindji for a long time but every time they got information of his location, he had already left the place.
If the technology is available, CRPF is mulling redesigning of their guns to fit the GPS device innocuously. “But the battery life should be at least 10 days to give any operational benefit to us. Maoists move in the jungles on foot. So movement is not very rapid. To ascertain a pattern one needs tracking over a few days,” said the official.
CRPF”s intelligence network is still at a nascent stage with its intelligence department set only a year ago. It largely depends on intelligence provided by state police and Intelligence Bureau. While IB has been providing the bulk of technical intelligence, state police has its human intelligence network that assists the forces. However, there have been constant issues of lack of coordination between the three arms, say sources – one of the reasons why CRPF set up its own intelligence department.