S. Vijay Kumar and Karthik Madhavan
“While one probationer was stung by a scorpion, another was injured in a bison attack.”
CHENNAI/ERODE: Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers were trained in jungle warfare techniques by the Special Task Force of Tamil Nadu in the Mudumalai Hills forest range. The weeklong training concluded on Tuesday.
As many as 101 probationers, including 21 women, undergoing training at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, and eight probationers from the Royal Bhutan Police Service, spent a week in the dense forests, learning strategies required for jungle warfare.
The probationers, who reported at the STF Jungle School at Sathyamangalam, were exposed to reflex shooting, jungle tactics and survival and animal behaviour. They were trained in skills such as ambush and counter-ambush operations, night march, tent-pitching, river-crossing and rock climbing. They were also sensitised to wildlife protection and forest conservation.
STF chief and Inspector General of Police C. Sylendra Babu led the special team that conducted the programme. Raman Sukumaran, a scientist of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, was among the resource persons.
“It is imperative to expose the probationers to jungle warfare techniques. This is the first time that the STF of any State is giving training to IPS probationers. They enjoyed the training despite the hardship and believed it would help them when they take charge in disturbed States such as Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and north-eastern States,” Dr. Sylendra Babu told The Hindu on Wednesday.
He said the probationers spent the past three days in the jungle without camp tents, cooked food or packaged water. “They had to live on food obtained in the forest and harvest water from natural sources. While one probationer was stung by a scorpion, another was injured in a bison attack. Two probationers slept close to a python all night without knowing it was there…”
NPA Director K. Vijay Kumar, who led the STF in the operation against brigand Veerappan, met the probationers at Pykara near Udhagamandalam.
“Jungle warfare training will now be part of the training module for IPS probationers. They did well…though physically tired, they were mentally charged,” he said.
A team of doctors from a private hospital was kept ready at Sathyamangalam.