Wednesday, July 15, 2009

29 policemen refuse jungle warfare training, suspended

Raipur, July 15 (IANS) Twenty-nine policemen have been suspended in Chhattisgarh for refusing jungle warfare training, just days after Maoists massacred 29 of their colleagues, an official said Wednesday.

The suspended policemen - all constables - were posted in Janjgir-Champa district and had been ordered to go for training at the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC) in Kanker district.

“All the 29 men were reluctant to go for the 15-day orientation course at CTJWC before being deployed for four-month-long postings in areas effected by Maoist insurgency. I had no option but to suspend them,” Jangir-Champa District Superintendent of Police S.K. Jha told IANS on telephone.

On Sunday, 29 policemen were killed in three separate Maoist attacks in Rajnandgaon district. Those killed included Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Choubey.

The government had set up CTJWC in 2005 and appointed counter-terrorism expert Brig (retired) B.K. Ponwar as its director to train policemen to “fight a guerrilla like a guerrilla”.

Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist violence since the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.

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