A simple impersonation meant to impress or get away with mischief can be dealt with a reprimand or two. When fake uniform extends to fake identity cards and the impersonation happens to be of serious and sensitive nature, it is time to ring the alarm bell.
On Saturday, Military Intelligence, picked up a couple near Kaliabor Bridge, nearby to Missa, Tezpur Military Station. The man claimed to be from 9 Para SF. His claims and uniform and identity cards were found to be fake. That is not all, even a fake CRPF I-card was also recovered from him. The culprit in question, intended to deceive with his impersonation.
Claiming to be from 9 PARA SF, the man was accompanied by his wife. Snehesh Alex Philip who broke the story on social media, also shared pictures of the Identity cards and other details of the couple. "1500 pictures from his mobile phone were recovered including those from Army installations across country. Further probe on," he tweeted.
Military and defence services imposter, not the first time
This is not the first time that an imposter in uniform pretending to be a soldier has been captured. Given the prestige, access and privileges that defence forces command, several such attempts are regularly made across the country.
It is illegal to be in uniform for civilians
In 2016, following the Pathankot air base attack, when suspected Pakistani terrorists had come attired in Army fatigues, the Indian Army had issued strict guidelines prohibiting any use of army uniform or equipment.
The Indian Army had also asked people not to wear army-pattern outfits. "Use of army uniform and equipment is not only illegal, but cannot be a fashion statement," the spokesman had said. Further adding that the sale of army equipment, uniform happening freely across the country to unauthorised people was illegal.
How do civilians get hold of Army uniforms?
The one question figuring prominently on everyone's mind also happens to be the obvious one. How do civilians get hold of Army uniform? Or for that matter uniform of any of the Defence Forces.
"Commercial sale of military uniform should be strictly banned," suggested a shocked social media user, before continuing, how a special, unique ID for jawans of the Armed and Border Forces might solve the problem to some extent. Others were amused at the failed impersonation attempt. "Forward rolls for him on detention," laughed another user.