Home Chhattisgarh Married couples, siblings in Bastariya Battalion ready to combat against Maoists

Married couples, siblings in Bastariya Battalion ready to combat against Maoists

Bastariya Battalion
Troopers of Bastariya Battalion holding automated weapon at Training Centre in Ambikapur after passing out parade on Monday.

Sandeep Pradhan

Ambikapur, May 20
Overcoming barriers like naxal threat, language, endurance, physical built-up and others, young married couples from Bastar region and a sibling from Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district are now ready to combat against Maoists in rough and challenging geographical terrain as troopers of Bastariya Battalion 241.
These couples and the sibling along with others troopers have underwent 44-weeklong extensive training of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to become the part of Bastariya Battalion, the force specially formed by the government to combat ultras in Maoists-hit patches of Chhattisgarh.
The objective of these couples and the sibling, like other troopers of the battalion, is to serve in insurgency-hit Bastar region and bring misguided people into mainstream of the society.

A young married couple (28-year-old husband and 25-year-old wife) hailing from worst Maoists-hit Bijapur district, who left their three-year-old girl child with relatives to complete 44-weeklong CRPF’s training, believes “rebels are misguided and they are wandering inside forest without any purpose. We and several others have joined CRPF. By admiring us, ultras may think that they should quit naxalism and join mainstream of the society as well as join the force to live better life like us.”
Similarly, the 12th passed siblings expressed confidence that they are ready to be deployed in naxal-hit districts and take part in anti-naxal operations.
Meanwhile, the sibling’s parents who came here at CRPF training centre at Ambikapur to attend passing out parade said that they are prepared to send one more son to Bastariya Battalion.
Interacting with Asian News Service (ANS), the young couple commissioned in the Bastariya battalion today, informed that during the course of training they learned weapon handling and firing, IED detection, participated in jungle camps, map reading, GPS and other. The initiative of forming Bastariya Battalion has ensured significant employment opportunity to tribal youths.

Speaking about threats from naxal side, these jawan said initially, there was some pressure from naxals but we ignored.
“My family has to leave the village due to pressure from naxal’s side,” said a jawan.
Notably, the sanctioned strength of this innovative battalion is 743, yet in the first phase as many as 739 candidates were selected in a special recruitment drive. Eventually, a total of 534 candidates including 189 female recruits underwent specialized training of around 44 week. The training involve guerrilla warfare, camouflage, living off the land and all those tricks of the trade that involve jungle operations.
“Initially, these recruits were very weak so the key thrust was to make them physically tough. For this we set a special training session and gradually raise the level of training. After a month, progresses were spotted among them and they started turning fit,” said Commandant of Bastariya Battalion Hari Kant Singh.
He further added that relaxation has been given in various aspects like height, physicque and age during recruitment.
Since, major numbers of recruits were malnourished and underweight, special attention to their diet was paid, said Singh, elaborating that protein and calcium were added to their diet so that they should gain strength.
The officer further informed that the recruits have been subjected to 44-weeklong training, a benchmark training of constable of all India-level (even tougher than that), and they responded well. The training programme was cleared by all including female recruits.
Primarily, female have some problem like malnutrition but they have been subjected to proper dieting and eventually they turned physically strong, added Singh.
Praising the endurance level of female troopers, Singh said “Female are at par with male. During training phase, female were able to travel 25 km with 12 kg weight and rifle.”
Fitness-level of these jawans are exceptional and female troopers too have remarkable level of endurance, said Commandant Sudhir Kumar.
Sudhir Kumar further informed that they are very good at weapon operation and our focus was also at that they should get proper weapon training. We didn’t left any field. We have formed an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) lane to teach them about different types of IEDs and its mechanism.
“Several times, we have learned jungle warfare techniques from these candidates. We believe that we are very good at jungle warfare but these people are master. They know how to survive in forest. They hardly fear insects, reptiles and animals in the forest,” said Commandant Sudhir, adding that they are very hardcore.


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