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CRPF looks to space scientists to fight terror

The CRPF teams up with space scientists to use ISRO's satellites to get quick access to satellite images of inaccessible areas, reports Aloke Tikku.
Hindustan Times | By Aloke Tikku, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2008 03:32 AM IST

India's eye in the sky will soon help security forces scan hilly terrain and dense forests to effectively penetrate into the interiors and pinpoint hideouts of extremists.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) teamed up with space scientists on Friday to use Indian Space Research Organisation’s satellites to get quick access to satellite images of inaccessible areas.

The CRPF is the lead force tasked with internal security duties: fighting Naxals in central and east India, insurgents in the Northeast and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the basis of the imageries, the CRPF would be able to penetrate and effectively move into the interiors that have not been surveyed by any agency, a CRPF official said, describing access to the imageries in real-time as a “tremendous force multiplier”.

The official added that satellite imageries were recently used to map the terrain in Orissa after the massive Naxal onslaught on a police armoury in Orissa’s Nayagarh town.

“This is the starting point for us… Now we will sit together and identify the details of the customised solutions that we require,” CRPF director general SIS Ahmed said.

The imagery will be fed on a real-time basis and updated every week or 10 days. Ahmed suggested that analysis of the imageries would not only indicate the changes in the terrain – that could indicate a hideout or a training camp – but also allow the security forces understand the terrain better.

The tie-up with ISRO would facilitate ground level observation as well as navigation with precision and speed for operational effectiveness, a CRPF spokesman said. Inspector General (Operations) AP Maheshwari signed the memorandum of understanding – that had been in the works for nearly four months – on Friday.

Ahmed said the space scientists would be asked to deliver customised projects that would enable field units to plan their operations better. “It will be great support,” a pleased D G said.

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