Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kerala: Trained for a jungle war

Wednesday October 17 2007 10:49 IST

T'PURAM: After 45 days of rigorous training in the hills of Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, they are back in the state with skills to counter all sorts of naxalite or terrorist attacks.
A team of 31 selected police personnel ranking from constables to assistant commandants, drawn from various armed reserve units, had undergone one-and-a-half month training at the College of Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare (CCTJW) in Chhattisgarh to form part of a commando force of the state police.

''We were intensively trained on all aspects of warfare and survival in the jungle, which ranged from firing to catching snakes. Besides physical training, we were also made mentallyprepared for contingencies during the course of training,'' said Ajith Kumar V.G., a sub-inspector with Special Armed Police who was part of the 31- member team.

Besides Keralites, police personnel from states like Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Orissa are being trained at the institute. The Kerala team was led by Assistant Commandant Ajith Kumar B.

''The most interesting part was overnight stay in tents on the hills. It had helped us have a first-hand experience on the living conditions in the jungle,'' he recalled.

The batch that left here on August 27 returned on Monday. Another team led by an Assistant SP would also be sent for training soon.

''As of now, major terrorist or naxalite threats do not exist here. However we need to be prepared as there are reports of terrorist activities moving towards the South. As part of this, more police officials of the state are being trained at leading institutions outside the state so that we can have a strong commando team,'' DGP Raman Srivastava said.

On the lack of facilities in Kerala to polish such skills acquired by trained police personnel, Srivastava said that the necessary facilities would be set up in the state for the purpose.

Though the initial plan was to get the team trained by the Greyhound, antiextremist commando team of Andhra Pradesh, the state police had to drop it owing to the exorbitant fee - Rs 30,000 per person and 10,000 rounds of ammunition (each costing Rs 20) for each person. Whereas, CCTJW is charging only Rs 5,000 person.

The warfare institute, which is situated about 140 kilometres from Raipur, was started in 2005 with the aim of providing intensive training to security personnel in the state. The institute later started offering training to police personnel from other states

New Indian Express

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