But the bullet-proof vests were reported to be sub standard and the .303 rifles used by the constables are relics of the Second World War.
Yes, the bullets pierced through the vests. Earlier, the vests were sent for testing at the Goregaon State Reserve Police campus, they were put on dummies and bullets were fired from AK-47 and Self Loading Rifles. Most bullets pierced through the jackets. It is a matter of record. Such a report was sent and yet they went ahead with the purchase.
Even the helmets were not good enough.
They don't have bullet-proof helmets. They are using old helmets made of steel sheets. They are only good for riot control. They protect the police when stones are pelted. Bullet-proof helmets are not being used at the moment.
Why haven't the .303 rifles been discontinued? Why didn't police officers end their use when they are so antiquated?
There are thousands and thousands of Self Loading Rifles in the police armoury. There are no dearth of semi automatic rifles in the police. In most places they (.303 rifles) have been replaced, but I believe they still continue in some places because in crowd control it does not cause much harm, and most police is deputed for riot control.
Earlier, they (the police) used to carry muskets, the purpose to cause minimum damage during firing, hence automatic weapons for the police were automatically kept in the armoury.
There is no shortage of sten guns, carbines, which are automatic weapons but have a shorter range, with the police. These are carried for VIP security. Officers are given 9mm automatic pistols. There is no problem with a lack of weapons in the armoury. The problem is not using them.
Image: A police commando puts on his bullet-proof jacket just outside the Taj Mahal hotel on November 27 during the standoff with terrorists. Photograph: Ritam Banerjee/Getty Images
Also read: Salute the brave constables of the D B Marg police station