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DECEMBER-2012 ISSUE

 
Maiden Innings
At his first press conference, DG CRPF, Pranay Sahay lays out his KRAs
By Dilip Kumar Mekala

DG Pranay Sahay, DG CRPFOn October 30, when the director general (DG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) addressed his maiden press conference, he seemed to have sailed through the rough waters. Just a month before his first press conference, he assumed the additional charge of director general of the country’s largest paramilitary force. This was in addition to his previous post as the director general of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). While some reports at that time suggested that the Government of India gave only temporary charge as head of the CRPF to the DG SSB, it was later reported that there might be a change in the SSB’s top position. As of now, Pranay Sahay is assuming the charge as the DG for both the paramilitary forces.

In the press conference, it was straight down to business. Sahay decided to directly take on the question and answer session, unlike any other media conference which begins with a long list of achievements. Instead, a press release highlighting last year’s list of achievements was handed over to the journalists right at the beginning, thus, ensuring that no time was wasted. All through the conference, Sahay relied on a team of experts like the inspector general, DIG and ADG.

But this only made it chaotic, what with so many talking heads. When a reporter posed a question to DG Sahay about the CRPF men killed despite the use of Mine-Protected Vehicles (MPV), N.C. Asthana, inspector general, CoBRA, decided to answer it providing technical details. “High detonation velocity explosives like RDX shatter the metallic hull of the MPV whereas low detonator velocity explosives (used by the naxals) tend to topple it… The casualties take place because the vehicle itself topples,” informed Asthana. He cited the example of US troops in Afghanistan. The number of mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles in Afghanistan is 17,700 and the number of IEDs found was 16,553 (either exploded, unexploded or detected before exploded) last year. The number of US troops injured last year was 5,183 and 566 were killed. “If they (US troops) couldn’t prevent the damage, what can we do?” asked Asthana. The tone and tenor of the reply resulted in a brief heated exchange between journalists and CRPF officials.
 
 
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