'Rambos' to battle Assam ultras
The Assam Govt will train 1,000 men who will live in the jungle much like actor Stallone in First Blood, reports Rahul Karmakar.india Updated: Aug 18, 2007 11:38 IST
John Rambo clones will soon take on the outlawed Ulfa militants in the forests of Assam.
The Assam government has decided to set up a special force of about 1,000 men who will be trained to live in the jungle, tame all kinds of terrain and defy pain — much like Sylvester Stallone did in the First Blood movie series.
<b1>The decision comes after a string of subversive attacks, especially against Hindi-speaking people, that the under-staffed 23 battalions of the Assam Police, including a commando battalion called Black Panthers, have been unable to check. There are close to 6,000 vacancies in the police force.
“We have decided to set up a special force trained for jungle warfare,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Friday. “There is no time-frame for the battalion, but we want to raise it as soon as possible.”
The force will be used for deep penetration across the state. But unlike the commando unit and special task force involved in counter-insurgency operations, the “jungle cats” will not be required to return to their base after an offensive. “Their mandate will be to live in jungles for sustained periods until the job is done,” Gogoi said.
The likelihood of militants striking in remote, isolated pockets, particularly those inhabited by settlers, has necessitated the new battalion, Gogoi said. The state plans to train the force at the army’s Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairangte in Mizoram, he said.
Other than raising a battalion of Rambo-like fighters, Assam will also involve locals in intelligence-gathering against militants.