After broadening the age for induction into the elite anti-Naxal unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is now considering a change in the training pattern. The idea was brought up in a meeting when all top officers were discussing a rise in the number of trainees returning to the unit without completing their training or tenure in the current batch. Also, the non-reporting of officers and personnel for CoBRA Commando Pre-Induction Training (CCPIT) is a major concern for the force.
The CoBRA is an elite force to effectively deal with specific challenges like Maoist violence and is one of the main reasons for the shrinking of Naxalism in India.
The CRPF in 2021 widened the induction age limits for joining this elite force due to a shortage of nominees.
In a dedicated meeting to discuss the issues, the director general of the force, SL Thaosen, has asked all senior officers to look at any faults in the training programme and also factor in if there are any medical reasons and injuries behind trainees going back to the unit.
“During the course of deliberations, following issues were flagged to the DG. Non-reporting of Officers/personnel for CoBRA Commando Pre-Induction Training (CCPIT). Rising Return to Unit (RTU) cases with special reference to the high number of cases in the ongoing CCPIT,” an official communication says.
“As regards higher number of RTU Cases, DG wanted to know the details/medical reasons i.e. nature of sickness/injury to the trainees due to which they were returned, while observing that it needed to be ascertained if it had anything to do with the possible faulty training, per se, instead,” the minutes of the meeting reviewed by News18 say. It has also been decided to look a the possibility of selecting fresh recruits from the training institutions immediately after their passing out for which a CoBRA team should visit these institutes to identify prospective candidates suitable for induction into the unit for three consecutive years.
On the issue of a large number of officers and men not reporting for undergoing the CCPIT, it was directed by the DG to take immediate action to ensure compliance with the order and if need be the concerned departments may consider issuing a “stand relieved” signal in all such cases besides stopping their pay and allowances at the present place of posting.
Also to mitigate the issue of cases returning to the units, senior officers from CoBRA should visit the training centre and undertake motivational classes in order to boost the morale and motivation of trainee officers or men, it has been decided.
News18 sought a response from CRPF but queries remained unanswered.
A CRPF official who has served in CoBRA said that the rejection rate is high as the force criteria are non-negotiable.
“Just like any other force, CoBRA is also an elite force raised for dedicated and specific challenges. Just like the forces of Spain and Israel, it also has a high rejection rate as the criteria are non-negotiable. One has to shape himself as per the demand of the elite unit,” the official told News18.