SRINAGAR: CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar, who was killed in an encounter with militants in Nowhatta here on Monday, could have survived had the officer, who was yet to be assigned a posting, been wearing a bullet proof helmet. “Pramod Kumar, Commanding Officer of 49 battalion CRPF, had attended Tri-colour unfurling function on Independence Day at CRPF DIG’s office in Karan Nagar yesterday,” said CRPF spokesperson Bhuvesh Chaudhry.
He said after the event, Kumar came to know that an encounter had broken out between militants and security personnel at Nowhatta.
Chaudhry said Kumar rushed to the spot to assist his men and officials in taking on the militants. “He was hit by two bullets during the encounter. One hit his bullet proof vest and did not harm him. Another slug hit him in the head, causing grievous injuries. He was evacuated to a hospital, where he succumbed,” said the CRPF spokesperson.
Chaudhry said the CRPF men and officers don’t have bullet proof helmets. The paramilitary personnel have anti-riot helmets. “We don’t have BP helmets.” The CRPF spokesperson said Kumar had been promoted as Commandant from second-in-command only on July 12. Kumar had joined the CRPF on January 1, 1998.