Before Pulwama, CRPF officer wrote to HQ about holes in anti-terror training

In the last four years, over 150 training and administrative staff have been posted there ‘to merely fill the vacancies’. (Representational photo)

It is a key training centre for the largest force fighting insurgency and terrorism in the country. But it has no permanent structure, no firing range, no boundary wall. In the last four years, over 150 training and administrative staff have been posted there “to merely fill the vacancies”. And, it does “not offer a single CIAT (Counter Insurgency and Anti Terrorism) related course”.

This is the essence of a report and a series of letters sent between January and November 2018 by a senior officer to the CRPF headquarters in New Delhi highlighting the poor condition of its counter-terror training apparatus.

The last of these letters was sent by CRPF IG Rajnish Rai on November 22, 2018, less than two months before the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 this year when 40 CRPF men lost their lives.

Rai was in charge of the CRPF’s 175-acre CIAT school in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor, one of the three such schools allotted to the force by the Union Home Ministry, which envisaged 21 such facilities in 2007 for various forces.

A 1992-batch IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, Rai was serving as CRPF IG (Northeast Sector) till June 2017, when he was asked to take charge of the CIAT school in Chittoor. The transfer came three months after he had called for a probe into what he alleged was a fake encounter…

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