While checking has been stepped up in Ghaziabad in the wake of the attack at the Pathankot air base by terrorists who had disguised themselves in army fatigues, the city police seem to have forgotten about roadside vendors who sell replicas of uniforms of the security forces.
There are several such vendors in areas around Old Bus Stand. Many sellers also sit along the Vasundhara-CISF Road, near the CISF battalion camp at Indirapuram.
These vendors sell items like battle-fatigue jackets, epaulettes, badges, identity cards bearing logos of security forces, army shoes and sweaters to just anyone.
At these shops, a battle-fatigue jacket is sold for around Rs. 900 while an army sweater comes for Rs. 400.
Vendors here have all items that constitute complete uniforms of the security forces.
“We procure these items from Sadar Bazar in Delhi and sell them openly. Personnel from the nearby battalion camp and the police also come here to buy items from us. Civilians also buy these uniforms,” claimed a vendor sitting along the Indirapuram-CISF Road.
He also claimed that nearby cities like Meerut also have several shops where replicas of security force uniforms are openly sold and stitched on order.
Such uniforms can prove to be dangerous as they may be used by anti-national elements and local criminals to disguise themselves as security personnel.
Police officials said that such uniforms are openly available in the open market and that there should be a policy to check it.
“We will check the vendors and take appropriate action against them. As part of our tightened security, we are scanning all locations in the city. We have tightened security at the border points,” said Atul Kumar Yadav, circle officer at Indirapuram.
Superintendent of police Ajay Pal did not answer calls despite repeated attempts.