Helmet row: Sikh soldiers too wear bulletproof patka, reasons Govt

| | New Delhi
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Helmet row: Sikh soldiers too wear bulletproof patka, reasons Govt

Saturday, 18 March 2023 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

In the backdrop of some Sikh organizations expressing reservation over its soldiers wearing bulletproof helmets after a recent proposal to buy more than 12,000 ballistic helmets, the government on Friday said Sikh troops battling terrorism have been wearing bulletproof patka over cloth patka while maintaining their religious identity.

Giving this information in the Lok Sabha, minister of state for defence AAjay Bhatt, in a written reply to Preneet Kaur, said Indian soldiers are provided the requisite protection to include bullet proof jackets and helmets to operate in challenging environment.

Safety of soldiers who are deployed on security duties is considered paramount. A modern day soldier needs to have all round protection from the newer and emerging threat of warfare. Sikh troops battling terrorism have been wearing bullet proof patka over cloth

patka while maintaining their religious identity. Tank Crew of armoured regiments also wear padded communication head gear, he said.

In January, the government floated a proposal for procuring nearly 12,000 ballistic helmets. These helmets attempt to completely enclose the head, in contrast to the bulletproof “patkas” that Sikh soldiers already wear. The proposal specifies that extra-large and large sizes for the helmets are required.

Bhatt said tactical helmets are an integral part of flying gear for combat aircraft operations and protective gear of soldiers against enemy gunfire. All pilots of fighter aircraft and combat helicopters and soldiers deployed in the areas where enemy attacks are anticipated or

defending important installations are to wear the full protective gear for personal safety.

Fighter Pilots and Helicopter Pilots of the Indian Defence Forces have always been wearing helmets over their religious head gear for heads up display and communication, he said.

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