Batch 1 of Karnataka commandos graduates

Batch 1 of Karnataka commandos graduates

Men in black: State Counter-Terrorism Response Team in action during the valedictory of a training programme in Bangalore on Thursday. DH Photo

To their rescue comes a group of valiant commandos who take positions in no time. An ear-piercing blast blows the door in. A fierce gun battle ensues and the captives are set free, unscathed.
This isn’t a scene from a new-age Bollywood flick. Nor is it a report on the latest terrorist attack. It is “Room Intervention”, a counter-insurgency technique demonstrated by Karnataka’s new counter-terrorism commandos whose first batch “passed out” on Thursday.

At the headquarters of the ninth battalion of the Karnataka State Reserve Police at Koodlu near here, the 80 new commandos demonstrated their capability to deal with all kinds of eventualities.

Firing skills

The masked fighters, dressed in black, showed various counter-insurgency skills. They descend from a height of 24 feet in just three seconds. Rappelling enables them to slide down from floor to floor rapidly. In “stop and firing” skill, commandos fire at enemies, descending upside down.

The “bombard movement and disarming” technique makes a group of commandos take positions — in single, double, and extended lines, covering their frontal and posterior sides. The “blindfolded stripping and folding of AK-47 weapons” makes the fighters handle armaments in complete darkness.

Through the “stripping and assembling” technique, the commandos are trained in assembling AK-47 and other rifles. The combatants can also rescue the passengers held hostage in a bus — they take positions from all the four sides and one commando climbs the vehicle and brandishes the gun from the roof. The fighters are also trained in providing first aid to their injured colleagues.

The commandos were trained by Brig K A Muthanna. The State government plans to train a total of 300 anti-terrorism combatants. They will be spared from regular service, and stationed in Bangalore initially. Once the full batch is trained, the combatants will be deployed at various parts of the State, especially Coastal Karnataka, if required.

Dedicated Centre

According to Home Minister R Ashoka, 30 acres would be given to set up a dedicated training centre for the Centre for Counter Terrorism (CCT) at Agara village, on the outskirts of Bangalore. Grants would be released soon for the purpose, he added. The combatants would be entitled to 50 per cent extra basic pay, besides boarding.

The Home Minister said the government was committed to modernising the police force. An amount of Rs 106 crore was being spent for the purpose. Modern equipment such as binoculars and state-of-the-art weaponry, etc, would be provided.

Admitting that people do not think highly of the police force and are wary of their capability, Ashoka said that it was time to change the notion. “Just like Karnataka has made a mark in the information technology and biotechnology sectors, the State should also be known for its modern and well-equipped police force,” he said.

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