Amid Delhi violence as the pictures of police personnel and private security guards in camouflage uniforms went viral, the Indian Army has urged the government not to let police forces wear combat uniforms.

In a letter written to the Defence Ministry on February 24, the Army has requested that guidelines be issued to ensure this.

“Combat dress should not be worn by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) pan India while being employed to handle law and order situations and in urban areas affected by terrorism, as the surroundings do not demand such a requirement,” the statement said.

“Over a period of time, CAPFs and state police forces in India have started wearing combat uniforms which are just slightly different from the ones worn by Indian Army personnel. These minor variations cannot be distinguished by most civilians giving them the impression that the personnel wearing such dresses in cities and towns of India while engaged in internal security duties, escorting VIPs, on policing duties, static guard posts are Army personnel,” the Army said.

It said wearing of combat dress by CAPFs and police forces may be misinterpreted as the army being deployed for internal security duties and elections.

The force further pointed that this may have an adverse impact on India’s image as a vibrant democratic nation and would be detrimental to national interests.

The CAPFs should use different colour and pattern disruptive dress and its use by state police forces should be restricted only to employment in jungle terrain in Left wing extremism-affected areas.

According to the 2016 guidelines of the  Home Ministry, bullet proof jackets, which cover most parts of the torso of CAPFs and the state police forces, should be of plain khaki colour and not of combat colour.

The Army also said that that sale of Army pattern clothes in the open market needs to be regulated.

“Private vendors in open market should establish identity and maintain a record of personnel to whom the army pattern clothes are being sold”, it said.