Monday, August 22, 2005

1,000 jawans and officers completed special training to combat maoists

Crack team from CRPF
- Special training for Task force as Maoists focus on Bengal

Ready for combat
Durgapur, Aug. 22: Nearly 1,000 jawans and officers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) today completed special training as part of the Centre’s decision to raise a special task force to combat Maoists and other terrorist outfits in Bengal and elsewhere.

The 800-odd jawans and 120 officers were handpicked from the CRPF’s 171st battalion and they will be deployed in the CPI(Maoist)-infested areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura replacing the Border Security Force personnel there.

The crack force would be armed with automatic rifles, light machine guns, carbines, AK-47, hand grenades, mine detectors, fireproof uniforms and bullet proof jackets.

“We have trained the special force — on the lines of a para-military force — over the past one year in the art of tackling ambush and detecting landmines in jungles. The squad will be under direct control of the Union home ministry and the state home department will co-ordinate with the ministry,” said Subhas Goswami, inspector general of CRPF (eastern sector). The force was trained at the CRPF centre in Durgapur.

More jawans and officers will be trained in the second phase and part of this special force will also be deployed in north Bengal to tackle militant outfits like the KLO.

CRPF to combat Maoists

Statesman News Service

DURGAPUR, Aug. 22. — A CRPF assistant commandant, Mr Biplob Mondal, who has been chosen for the President’s gallantry police medal this year, will be leading a reserve police contingent to help Maoist combat operation in Midnapore (West). This was declared by the IGP (CRPF), Mr Subhash Goswami, during an attestation-cum-passing out parade of 913 recruits in the Group Centre of the 171 battalion in Durgapur today. Mr Mondal was chosen for the President’s medal for his successful encounter with Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on 9 August 2000.

The IGP said: ‘‘all the 913 recruits, who participated in the passing-out parade today, will be destined for Purulia, Midnapore and Bankura to combat the Maoist ultras. The state government has sought CRPF deployment to deal with the menace.’’ He said: ‘‘the CRPF has been helping in special operations since its inception and we shoulder the right assistance when called for. This has been proved several times and the performance of Biplob Mondal better established the fact.’’ He added,‘‘we do have 185 battalions which will shortly be increased to 200 considering the increasing requirement of the country.’’
The 171 Battalion was raised on 9 August 2004 utilising the Durgapur Group Centre of the CRPF. Mr RNS Bahad, the commandant of the GC, said: ‘‘The recruits have undergone rigorous training covering all important fields of weapons, field tactics, firing by using sophisticated guns like AK-47, jungle warfare, counter insurgency and anti-terrorist operations.’’ He added: ‘‘They have also been equipped with the knowledge of dealing with explosives.’’ The battalion has undergone a 44-week composite training. They will be given final jungle training for four weeks to acclimatize with the concept of ‘‘living off the land and survival in extreme adverse conditions.’’ They have been trained in handling explosives and field weaponry, said Mr Biplob Mondal. He said: ‘‘my experiences in Jammu and Kashmir will help our operations in West Bengal districts like Purulia and Bankura which are surrounded by dense forests.’’