Military Intelligence, police bust racket illegally selling Army’s new combat uniforms
One person was held and 40 counterfeit uniforms were recovered; individuals in Rajasthan, Delhi are susupected to be part of nexus
The counterfeit Army uniform sets, which were being sold in Ahmednagar. Photo: Special Arrangement
In the first major recovery of illegally sold counterfeit uniforms made according to the Army’s new digital combat pattern, a joint operation by Southern Command Military Intelligence, Pune and Bhingar Camp Police Station, Ahmednagar nabbed one person and recovered 40 such counterfeit uniforms.
A statement from the local police said that the arrested individual was from Nashik district; on questioning, he said that he had brought new combat uniforms for sale without having a valid license. A case has been registered and investigation is being conducted by the Bhingar Camp Police Station.
Investigation has highlighted that a major racket of illegal sales of the new combat pattern uniform is being run in the open market, with the possible involvement of individuals in New Delhi and Rajasthan, a defence source said.
The new digital pattern combat uniform was unveiled by the Army on January 15, 2022 and the old uniform is in the process of being replaced. The improved uniform has a contemporary look and the fabric has been made lighter, stronger, breathable, quick drying, and easier to maintain.
The Army has obtained Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for the design and camouflage patterns for a 10-year period, extendable for another five years. “The above has been done to prevent unauthorized vendors from manufacturing and selling the combat pattern dress in the open market, as it was posing a serious security threat for the Indian Army and the nation as a whole,” the Army had stated earlier.
As per orders, the new uniforms will only be sold in the Army’s unit-run canteens. Due to the IPR, the Army now possesses exclusive rights to the design and can file a legal suit against any design infringement and unauthorized reproduction of this design, it had stated
To introduced the new uniform, 50,000 sets were procured through the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) and delivered to 15 CSD depots across the country. The Army had also conducted workshops to train civil and military tailors in stitching the new uniform as per the specified design, in coordination with instructors from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi. After the initial lot, the Army had made a bulk procurement of 11.7 lakh sets of uniforms; their issue to Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks began in the second half of 2023.