Focus on landmine detection, countering guerrilla warfare, identifying booby traps

A special force of the Maharashtra Police arrived at the STF Jungle School in Tamil Nadu on Monday for intensive training in combating naxalites.

According to sources in intelligence agencies, the month-long training designed by the Special Task Force focusses on landmine detection/disposal, countering guerrilla warfare, identifying booby traps and prolonged survival techniques in the jungle. The trained personnel will be deployed in the naxal-affected Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra. Recently, a group of trainers attached to the elite Force 1 anti-terrorist squad underwent training at the Jungle School, the sources said.

STF Superintendent of Police S.V. Karuppasamy said special training was being imparted in precision firing and reflex action. “We want to develop snipers in the force…random and aimless firing only exhausts ammunition. Detecting landmines is another area of thrust. There are instances when grass grew more than two-foot tall on a ground filled with mines,” he told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Inspector General of Police (Operations), N. Tamil Selvan visited the training camp at an undisclosed location along the Western Ghats and interacted with the Maharashtra police personnel, the sources said .

“Strenuous training is being given in survival tactics, night movement and camping on alien terrain. During special operations, the police should not be dependent on villagers for accommodation or food. They must be able to survive without supplies for weeks by tapping natural food and water,” Mr. Karuppasamy said.

Stating that the Sathyamangalam Jungle School was equipped with highly competent trainers, Inspector General of Police and former STF Chief C. Sylendra Babu said the force had trained police from many States, IPS probationers and para-military forces, including the Central Reserve Police Force and Central Industrial Security Force in recent months.

“Our training module professionally equips the police to stay, fight and finish the enemy in the jungle. Quick movement in the night without disturbing wildlife or natural vegetation, observing villages or villagers and bunker making are some crucial aspects in jungle warfare,” Dr. Sylendra Babu added.