The Army has written to the Defence Ministry demanding that the CAPFs, deployed to handle the law and order situation in the country, must refrain from wearing combat dress as this may be "misinterpreted" by people and could have an adverse impact on its image and prove detrimental to national interest.
According to the Army sources, The letter was written on Monday after certain Central Armed Police Forces personnel, deployed along with the Delhi Police at protest sites in the national capital, were seen wearing Indian Army pattern combat dress.
The sources said over a period of time, CAPFs and state police forces in India have started wearing combat uniforms which are just slightly different in appearance from the ones worn by Indian Army personnel.
These minor variations cannot 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 are Army personnel, the letter said.
"Today, events in our country are under constant domestic and international media glare due to the rising stature of the nation. Wearing of combat dress by CAPFs and state police forces may be misinterpreted as 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," the Army sources added.
The Army is seen as an apolitical force and maintains its neutrality.
In its letter, the Army has requested the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue guidelines that combat dress should not be worn by CAPFs pan India while being pressed in to handle law and order situations and while being deployed in urban areas affected by terrorism as the surroundings do not demand such a requirement.
"Use of distinctly different (both in colour and pattern) uniforms by CAPFs and state police forces should be restricted only to deployment in jungle terrain in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas," it said.
Even the bulletproof jackets, which cover most parts of the torso, should be of plain Khaki colour. Sale of Army pattern clothes in the open market needs to be regulated, the letter said.Also Read | Northeast Delhi violence claims 13 lives, 186 injured