SRINAGAR: Amidst the rising cases of youths joining terror groups, the Indian Army has introduced a change in its training for the soldiers who are getting posted in the hinterland and the Line of Control (LoC).
The aim is to make the soldiers more sensitive towards the civil population with a new psychological capsule and tweak in drills of engagement.
A senior Army officer said, “We have introduced a capsule in January to make the soldiers more sensitive towards civilians. This capsule has been developed in conjunction with the Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR)”.
“A selected lot of 200 to 250 soldiers and officers from the total assigned trainees to go through this psychology capsule.” said the officer. The aim of the training at Corps Battle School, Khrew, is to not just improve the operational reflexes with the help of the cognitive learning of the soldiers but also to make him go through the capsule to not be hostile towards the locals and obviate collateral damage.
The officer said the operations of the Army are oriented as per five tenets -- good faith and just conduct, minimum Force, avoid collateral damage, impartiality, and necessity of operations.
Every soldier getting posted to 15 Corps goes through a compulsory training at CBS. CBS trains 3000 to 3200 troops, officers, and men, every year in various courses. People getting posted in hinterland duties go through 28-day training and those going on counter-infiltration posting are trained for 14 days.
The capsule was prepared after a team of DIPR visited the (CBS) in 2019 and interacted with the trainers and the trainees.
The Capsule works on the cognitive learning process and the aim is that the operationally deployed soldiers don’t perceive the civilian as a threat. “The Capsule works on training the soldiers so that he is able to emulate the learnings at Corps Battle School, Khrew while in deployment.”
Every soldier deployed into the area of responsibility of the Srinagar based 15 Corps gets posted for either Counter terrorism duties in the hinterland of the valley or is posted along the Line of Control in counter infiltration duty.
Another officer said, “We try to create cognitive memory here to prepare them on various scenarios which they might face during deployment.” The various drills, with experience, have been tweaked to improve the reflexes and to bring down the collateral damage told the officer and added.
Apart from the training drills, the soldiers are also being sensitized of the imminent dangers of the use of UAVs for airdrops along the LoC and taking the help of the family members of the terrorists to persuade them to surrender.
The number of youth in Jammu and Kashmir joining terror groups was 219 in 2018, 119 in 2019, and 135 till October 6, 2020.