Sunday, April 11, 2010

Over 30% OCs fail to hit the bullseye in target practice

Manohar Lal, TNN, Apr 10, 2010, 08.22pm IST

RANCHI: Strange but true. Over 30% officers-in-charge of police stations in the Naxalite-affected areas made clear washouts (a term used for missing the target) on Saturday.

A total of 124 OCs took part in the target practice a day after they attended a workshop on Friday, chaired by home secretary J B Tubid and director-general of police Neyaz Ahmed to discuss a startegy to counter Maoists.

TOI had published a report on Friday, saying that several police officers posted in the Naxalite strongholds had not even fired a single bullet in the past couple of years. Possibly taking cue of that, a workshop and a training session for OCs from all over the state was organized.

Early morning, all the OCs were told to rush to the Bariatu Firing Range, where Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP)-1 hosted the training session. In the first round, the officers were told to fire 10 rounds from their AK-47 rifles at the target 100 yards away.

The officers started firing in a batch of 15 each. The tally at the end of the first session revealed that around 38 officers had failed to hit the target even once. Only 22 were successful in hitting the bullseye, while 27 hit the target five times and the rest were below average.

JAP-I deputy superintendent of police Vipul Shukla, who was coordinating the training session, blamed the officers for lack of practice and said that most of them were not familiar with AK-47. Ironically, the weapon is being used most readily by the security forces.

The points tally even showed that officer-in-charge Anjani Kumar had made 13 hits. "This might be the handiwork of some intruders, who targeted my target instead of theirs," he laughed.

An OC, who missed the target in every one of the 10 rounds, said he had some irritation in his eyes after the first bullet was fired, possibly from the smoke and hence, he missed all the targets.

Target number 15 had the maximum washouts. To check whether there was any problem with its position, Shukla fired and hit it nine out of 10 times.

In the second round, the OCs were asked to fire from their pistol 10 times at the target from 30 yards away. The tally was more or less the same and around 50 officers had cent per cent hits while less then 10% made clear washouts.

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