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RAF men exhibit management skills

P.V.Srividya
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75-member platoon displays mob dispersal methods in conflict situations

action-packed: Rapid Action Force personnel at a demonstration on A. R. Ground, Nagapattinam on Saturday.
action-packed: Rapid Action Force personnel at a demonstration on A. R. Ground, Nagapattinam on Saturday.

It is the dictum of zero-response time that governs these people. A demonstration by the Rapid Action Force (RAF) at the Armed Reserve Ground here on Saturday evening brought to fore the choices and consequences to be gauged in conflict situations.

A 75-member platoon of the RAF conducted a two-phased demonstration focussing on platoon formation and mob dispersal.

Different formations

Platoon formation envisages six models - Wedge formation, split-wedge formation, extended-line formation, extended-one-deep formation, extended two-deep formation and circular formation – each based on the geography of the conflict site and psychology of the mob.

The demonstration conjectured a hypothetical situation of a riot arising out of Cauvery farmers' agitation for water in front of the Secretariat.

A phased demonstration of quelling the ‘riot'right from ‘minimum-use-of-force' to lathi charge, use of tear gas shells and finally firing orders, brought in a gamut of options and choices left for the paramilitary force in a conflict situation.

The display of anti-riot munitions equipment ranging from different types of shells, grenades, batons and shields formed part of the demonstration.

Ballistic carts, stun shells, plastic pallets, shock batons, polycarbonate shields and lathis, tear-smoke grenades-three way and single way, stingers, stun grenades, anti-riot guns, truncheon batons and gas masks were exhibited

Rapid Action Force was established by the Home Ministry in 1991 to deal with situations arising out of religious and communal overtones. RAF platoons picked from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are trained to respond to a riotous situation within zero-response-time.

In special circumstances, RAF could also be deployed for ‘land-order' duties and engaged in socially useful work.

The week-long stay here of the 105 CRPF battalion from Coimbatore was preceded by similar exercises in Vedaranyam, Sirkazhi and Mayiladuthurai.

The demonstration led by Sunil Kumar, Deputy Commandant and Mahendra Rao, Assistant Commandant, was presided over by Collector C.Munianathan.

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