Jungle Warfare College Kanker

  • 1
  • /
  • 1

I took a bus from Narainpur to Kanker. Drive took over 3 hours most of it thru dense forests - loved it. A shorter route may be Narainpur to National Highway to Kanker. I visited the Counter-Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College there. This slogan symbolises the approach of the College - Fight the Guerrila Like a Guerrila.

Faced with high casualties the Chhattisgarh Government invited Brig BK Ponwar to set up The Jungle Warfare College in 2005. The brief was to transform the police force into combat soldiers. The training area covers 65 villages and 75 hilltops. U see Brig BK Ponwar conducting a training session for the cops.

U see a village house where cops are taught how to conduct a raid. Objective of the 45 day course are endurance training, learn quick reflex firing, operations to counter Naxalites and importantly to win the hearts and minds of the local people.

Here cops are taught tactical warfare using real life situations. All training is akin to actual prevailing ground conditions. I found the environment to be motivational, action oriented and charged up. College Motto - always be in combat mode but with a smile.

All over the College phrases are seen like the ones painted on these rocks for eg Commando (cops are called commando), Bells of Bastar will soon smile, Fight the Guerrila Like a Guerrila. These words are motivational and change the way cops feel about themselves. Winning the mindgame is important.

Cops go through a rigorous physcial conditioning every morning. They assemble at the parade ground where they are addressed by Brig BK Ponwar, Director of the Jungle Warfare College. The atmosphere is electric to say the least. From here on we present pictures of the exercises that cops go through. It was early morning so this pic not very clear.

After the address cops go running in the forests, guns in hand but held above their shoulders for e.g. some run up and down this hill. All along the jawan that you see plays the drum. Very Army like atmosphere.

I was at the parade ground whilst the cops were on morning run. It was a couple of minutes before sun rise when I clicked this picture. End December was chilly but very enjoyable.

After the cops returned exercises started. Have captured pics of different type of exercises. It is transformational. This group doing push ups. Phrase painted on rock that you see in the background is ''Alert Sentry''. A cop needs to be alert always esp. when dealing with an unknown enemy.

Saw cops in their 30s, 40s and some looked like they were in early 50s. Happy to see a number of women cops being trained as well. Rules for both men and women were similar. Another exercise. Seeing them recalled the day when I tried a similar exercise at the age of six. I lost balance, fell on cement ground. Resulted in ten stitches and a swollen lip that has now become a identity mark.

This elevation is at the parade ground. Another key phrase Population is the Centre of Gravity. What this means is that to win any war you need the local population on your side because it is they who know local conditions, give you intelligence inputs. Another phrase on right of pic Ask not what the College can do for you - Ask what you can do for the College.

Rope climbing exercise. The College team that takes the cops through the exercise pushes them very hard. During training they are also taught jungle lure, patrolling, laying an ambush, area domination, psywar, raid on Naxal hideout.

Here cops are to somersault. It was interesting to see how the older cops managed. In the College campus cops live in tents. When in the forests they could live in the open.

Here you put your hands behind you and then move backwards. Saw smiles of joy on the faces of a number of cops as if to say we are ready for the challenge.

This pic is self-explanatory. The sun was beginning to rise. Brig BK Ponwar tells the cops ''"Learn what I tell you or you go back home in a box."''.

Here you lie down, then place your elbows on the ground and drag your self forward. According to Brig BK Ponwar training has, incidentally, cured many of ailments like piles, blood-pressure and diabetes etc.

Here you put your hands behind your back and walk as you see in this picture. Nature of exercises very innovative, aimed at making the cops fit. In the jungle fitness matters and can help overcome the opponent or save your life.

Put your hands straight towards your thighs and then role on ground as you can see lady cop doing. The College was set up in 2005. Brig BK Ponwar has built it up scratch. Admire the dedication and missionary zeal.

Hand on your hips and cover distance by jumping. It is not only humans but even Dogs are trained at the College. Initially Labradors and Alsatians were trained but Brig BK Ponwar trained local dogs which took many by surprise since they believed that only Labradors etc could be trained for this purpose.

Pic is self-explanatory. Extreme left of pic u see lady cops doing the same exercise. Another group is being asked to run. Brig BK Ponwar said ''We train the policemen to live the life of the jungle and become mentally and physically tough to take on the enemy. Psychological warfare also forms a crucial component of the course.''

This is a tough and hilarious exercise for an onlooker. If residents of metro towns like me did even 20% of these exercises every day would have amazing fitness levels. A number of these exercises are about team-work or for two cops. During an offensive operation important to move around with a Buddy (partner) and a well aligned team whilst conducting a raid.

Earlier pic was starting point for cops. Here you see them running towards the goal post.

Open Gym. Cops are also trained at firing ranges. Aim is to enable cops to fire their weapon to overcome every situation in an encounter. Focus is on creating and acting in real life situations.

Yoga exercise. Here is a link to the Jungle Warfare College Kanker website. Click here

Another Yoga exercise. Cops are also taught how to detect and clear a road of IED’s. Normal policing involves maintenance of law and order in a given area and is not geared to dealing with the votaries of terror. IED’s in the state have fallen from 78 in 2006 to 12 in 2012.

This is another interesting exercise, please observe carefully. One foot in centre with another at an angle. After a minute the foot position reverses. Cops are trained over a 400 sq km radius covering 65 villages during which they meet the Village Head and inquire about the efficacy of health, electricity etc facilities. The feedback is collated and sent to the District Collector for action.

Different groups doing different exercises. In nearly eight years the College has trained app 25,000 cops from various states. Read an article in India Today on the Warfare College Click here

At the end of the morning schedule cops take their guns, jump in the air shouting Commando, like a battle cry. Read more about Jungle Warfare College Click here

Another pics of cops. According to Brig BK Ponwar cops trained at the College do not get killed, in fact they get President’s medal for bravery.

A group picture. The energy, dedication and attitude of the cops got to me. I left the College wondering if a civilian like me would ever get a chance to go through such a rigorous and outstanding training schedule.

Receive Site Updates