Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ready for rebel combat with army tips

Ready for rebel combat with army tips
An army training camp to improve skills

Ranchi, Nov. 3: Gotsan Panna, a constable posted at Lapung, is envied by his colleagues.

Ready to take on the Naxalites, he deftly uses sophisticated weapons like an Insas, while his seniors often fail to fire even a simple .303 rifle. The one-and-half-month rigorous training at the Ramgarh army cantonment has made a huge difference in improving his skills.

His earlier training by the state police was too simple to hunt out the Naxalites. “I had been trained only to know the names of certain weapons and police norms. I was not skilled enough to fire even simple rifles with ease,” he says.

The second batch — from Lohardaga and Simdega districts and undergoing training at present — comprises sub-inspectors, havildars and constables.

Neyaz Ahmad, the additional director-general of police (modernisation), told The Telegraph that the army-trained personnel would stay as a fighting unit in each of the 18 rebel-hit districts. The cantonment has given the state police a year’s time to train the personnel to be selected from the 18 districts. Besides, the state police have also conducted training at Chhattisgarh jungle warfare centre.

Ranchi senior superintendent of police R.K. Mallick said the motivation level of the trained personnel is very high. Right now they have been deployed in Giridih for the November 6 bypoll.

Lapung officer-in-charge Tej Narayan Singh said the difference is obvious. “There is an obvious change in their attitude, besides the fighting skills,” he adds.

With a cyber network set to link all the police stations across the district, curbing the extremist menace will be easier, added Ahmad. To begin with, computers are being installed in the 34 police stations in Ranchi. “We have plans to computerise 30 per cent of the total 333 police stations, across the state, by March,” said Ahmad.

He added: “We are concentrating in urban areas as the village-based police stations are facing power shortage.”

The advantage of computerisation would be that local officers would no longer be able to suppress complaints. “Every complaint will be registered and the complainant will get a number,” he added.

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