The six terrorists who attacked Pathankot Indian Air Force base wore army fatigues (dress) of the same universally identifiable camouflaged pattern. The terrorists who attacked a police station in Gurdaspur on July 27, 2015 also wore army uniforms.
Armymen march in combat uniform following the GUrdaspur terror attack. PTI
It is only the beret and badges that distinguish the real armed forces personnel from someone wearing a fatigue as a fashion-statement therefore making it very difficult to distinguish a real armyman from the fake.
Fashion wear patterned along the camouflage-style of the Army is very popular among youths of the country.
The guidelines are to be followed across the country. The Army has now labelled the selling of such clothing and equipment “illegal”.
BSF troopers in a camouflage pattern combat dress.
The Army has said that wearing such dresses “leads to false alarms”.
Quoting an Army spokesperson, PTI reports that traders and shopkeepers will now have to approach local military authority and request for shops in units/cantonments approved areas/shops for selling Army uniforms.
In Punjab, where the two terror attacks happened, shops have stopped selling the dresses. The combat uniform of the Army is made from a much sturdier fabric than those worn for style. However, the pattern is so similar that one might not be able to distinguish the same from a first look.
Akshay Kumar in a military-style dress.FreePressJournal
But their easy availability means they can be used by terrorists too.
The camouflage patterns used on combat dresses of the Indian Army are Cactus; Palm Frond, a commonly seen pattern based on the British Denison Smock design; US 3-Colour Desert; Jungle Digital Camouflage; Disruptive Pattern Material, another common pattern; and Arid Flecktarn, which worn by the BSF only.
A report in the Indian Express says that retired soldiers often retain only one of their uniforms and sell those that do not fit them anymore in the market. Those discarded uniforms were resold till before this notification.
The Army has also requested the youth to spread awareness and “start a campaign to prevent misuse of Army uniform and equipment as fashion statement” on social media.