Saturday, May 17, 2008

Indian police get jungle warfare training

NEW DELHI, May 16 (UPI) -- India has asked its state governments to provide jungle warfare training to its police personnel to counter Maoist insurgents.

The federal Interior Ministry has asked states hit by the country's widespread Maoist insurgency to ensure a reasonable proportion of their police force gets special commando and jungle warfare training to counter the insurgents, known as Naxalites.

The ministry in a communication told the states to establish adequate training facilities in their regions and suggested they train together with army and central government paramilitary forces as an interim measure.

The ministry said that states should take certain measures to tackle the Naxalite menace in a comprehensive manner. It insisted on deadlines to augment the police force and for filling vacancies, and on the provision of incentives to officials posted in insurgent-hit areas with a rotation policy.

"The states should ensure that police stations in Naxal-hit areas are provided with secure buildings with perimeter security, barracks and armory," the ministry said. It also said adherence to standard operating procedures to pre-empt possible attacks, and strengthening intelligence gathering are other vital measures that are to be taken to counter Maoist insurgency, The Hindu newspaper reported Friday.

Maoist rebels are called Naxalites in Indian context as they began their armed struggle against the state from a place named Naxalbari in the West Bengal state in the 1970s.

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