CRPF focuses on training to win over Naxals

New Delhi: In a bid to ramp up operations against Left-wing extremism, CRPF is laying special stress on training of its personnel with focus on `jungle survival` tactics to carry out ambushes in difficult terrains.

The three-week jungle and survival course is compulsory for all new recruits and those involved in counter-insurgency operations.

"Keeping in mind the operational requirements of the CRPF, including in Naxal zones, this module is the most significant feature of training," a senior CRPF officer, who did not wish to be identified, said.

CRPF personnel, who suffered some setback against Naxals and stone-pelters in Kashmir, are now believed to be gaining back their confidence, thanks to the new approaches being introduced in the force.

The new CRPF director General Vijay Kumar, who led the team that gunned down Veerapan, said jawans and officers in the force have adopted a `carrot and stick` approach, giving instant rewards to performers and reprimanding lax officials.

Besides this, Kumar said that CRPF personnel interact with jawans and have even taken part in operations in the thick jungles of Chhattisgarh.

"The DG coming with the jawans, overseeing setting up of ambushes in the thick jungles where many of our brothers were killed, is a morale booster," a jawan involved in anti-Naxal operations said.

"Simple things matter a lot. Earlier after a grueling one-and-a-half months practice for the Raising Day, a 10-day leave is given to all personnel who take part in it. But this time, the leave was for 15 days. It means a lot for us," a jawan said.

According to sources in the force, 58-year-old Kumar while out on visits gives instant rewards to performers. "He also never misses an opportunity to admonish any one, be it jawans or officers if they do anything wrong or do not live up to his expectations."

Asked about these trends in the force, a senior officer said, "It`s a carrot and stick approach. The personnel out in the field need to know that the chief is with them."

Kumar, who himself follows a tough exercise regimen, is said to have cycled his way to the training Academy from the Gurgaon toll gate, a good five km away, has also introduced one-minute drills in the force.