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Sharmili Mallick

A commando undergoing training for guerilla warfare in Odisha Police's elite Special Operation Group (SOG) has to remain hungry for the entire day and stay awake the whole night, a senior police officer said.

This helps the commando to prepare for the arduous task, stay in the jungle and effectively tackle the Maoists and beat them in guerilla warfare, the officer said.

The SOG, established in Odisha in 2004, not only helped the state in various anti-Maoist operations, but has also provided rigorous training and skills to police personnel from other states and Central police force.

As many as 924 personnel from different states including 600 jawans of CRPF have so far been trained by the SOG of Odisha Police so far, the officer said.

This came to the fore when Odisha DGP Abhay reviewed SOG related activities along with senior officers of the State Police recently.

IGP (Operations) Amitabh Thakur said the SOG has so far trained personnel from West Bengal (202), Jharkhand (40), Kerala (1st batch 50), Maharashtra (32) and CRPF (600), Kerala Police has now sent another batch of 33 Commandos of Thunderbolt , which is their Special Force for tackling LWE. The batch will undergo intensive and rigorous training for 8 weeks, Thakur said, adding that the main focus is given to the improvement of physical fitness and skills in firing in difficult jungle conditions.



The commandos will also be given training on map reading, weapon handling and firing, fieldcraft, tactics and other allied subjects like explosives, communication and first aid, he said.

"After the completion of training, each Commando will be able to go from one unknown place to another anywhere, even at night. He will be a marksman in firing and will be able to handle explosives confidently," he said.

The personnel trained at SOG will also be able to remain in a jungle without outside support for five days and march a distance of 100 km with their own arms and personal equipment.

"Keeping the trainee hungry for an entire day or keeping him awake for the entire night are also inputs to prepare him for the arduous task and to keep him focused on the given task," the IGP said.

The SOG is an elite armed force of the state for counter terrorist /extremist operations. Amongst the mandate of SOG, one is also to develop training curriculum and train its own personnel, and those of other units of the state police as well.

It provides training to Odisha Police personnel in anti-terrorist and anti-extremist fieldcraft, non-conventional jungle warfare, storming of hideouts of extremists / terrorists, storming of buildings, installations, aircraft taken hostage by the terrorists and the like, he said.

As the SOG has acquired expertise in training and after having achieved results on the ground, many states are sending their personnel for training here, he said.

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