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In valley, walls will be army’s eyes; ultras can’t hide any more

The Army plans to acquire hand-held radars to detect terrorists hiding in houses in Jammu & Kashmir to avoid casualties and collateral damage during “operations”. At least two “through the wall” radars will be inducted shortly. Forty more such devices will be deployed in all the anti-insurgency grids.
Mounted on tripods these radars can detect movements or images behind the wall from a range of 50 to 70 metres and cost Rs 60 lakh each. The radars will come from Israel and the US, and the Army will procure them through the Army commanders discretionary fund, officials said on Friday. These sophisticated radars can also capture silhouette of a human body apart from detecting body heat or breath via electromagnetic rays. They will come handy for the security forces in ferreting out terrorists from hideouts now. In many cases, these hideouts are built within houses in several parts of Jammu & Kashmir especially in heavily populated districts. Virtually undetectable, these hideouts can accommodate three to four terrorists in cramped places when security forces try to locate them, officials said.
Also, they said the construction of hideouts by diehard supporters of terrorists saw a surge during the nearly five months long unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani last year. While security forces were busy in restoring law and order, some elements took advantage of the situation and constructed the hideouts without being detected. Most of the hideouts are constructed in densely populated areas to allow the terrorist to escape by sneaking into the adjacent house if he is detected.
The hideouts are built either below the staircase or in the attic by erecting a façade of a semi-pucca wall. The first two radars are expected to be inducted in the next few weeks and based on the performance of these devices, the Army will then procure 40 to 50 more to enhance capabilities to detect the terrorists, they said. Three variants of the hand-held radar were tried and the Army opted for the 50-metre range radar due to high quality resolution and detection. The other two variants included a 15-metre range device costing Rs 9 lakh and a Rs 30 lakh radar with a range of 30-odd metres, they said. Giving the complexities involved in conducting operations in populated areas, the need was to detect terrorists from a long range to avoid raising an alarm and then close in after locating his position inside the house. Therefore, the 50-metre range radar was selected, officials said.

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