BHUBANESWAR: Personnel of the Kerala Police's elite Commando Wing -- Thunderbolts -- have commenced anti-extremist training at the Odisha Police Special Operation Group (SOG) centre in Chandaka on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. The training will go on for eight months.
"Thunderbolts commandos are being trained at SOG in Chandaka and they are the second batch from Kerala. We have already trained commandos from Maharashtra and West Bengal," said DGP Abhay.
SOG is a specialized unit of Odisha Police and has expertise in neutralizing extremists.
About 33 commandos of Thunderbolts led by a sub-inspector rank officer were kept in isolation and their RT-PCR tests were conducted before their training commenced here on Monday.
Palakkad, Malappuram, Kannur, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts of Kerala are affected by the left wing extremism (LWE) menace.
"The commandos will undergo physical training, obstacle course, shooting and jungle exercises at SOG centre. They will be informed about the Maoists' military structure and their method of operation," said a senior officer of Odisha Police.
The commandos of Thunderbolts will also be briefed about using global positioning system (GPS) during an operation.
Besides this, they will be trained about the lying up position which is the tactical place where an operating unit of the security forces stops for a brief period and the location is chosen in a way that the personnel are ready for an ambush or a raid after alerts from sentries posted on higher grounds.
Sources said the Odisha Police might also arrange an interaction between Thunderbolts commandos and the surrendered ultras to help them understand their methodology.
Last year, 50 commandos of Thunderbolts had undergone 13 weeks training but the second batch's duration was shortened in view of the pandemic.
Thunderbolts commandos were asked to undertake certain exercises in Kerala itself before arriving in Chandaka, said a senior police officer.
A new battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force (BSF) arriving in Odisha also undertakes an induction under the SOG before commencing duties in the state.