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Surgical strike commandos training Punjab’ special unit

So far, 180 new recruits of the Punjab police have joined the SOG, which will have 280 men, plus trainers and other officials

punjab Updated: Apr 28, 2018 10:12 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Surgical strike,Surgical strike commandos,Punjab’ special unit
Some of the trainers of the Special Operation Group at Bahadurgarh near Patiala.(HT Photo)

Four of the commandos who took part in Indian Army’s surgical strikes to demolish terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 2016 are now a part of, and training, Punjab Police’s newly created Special Operation Group (SOG), a unit to tackle extreme threats such as terror attacks in the border state.

The state police sought to recruit 20 such commandos who were part of anti-insurgency operations, and 14 of them have joined the SOG, training of which has started in Patiala, it is learnt.“We have tied up with different commando training centres of the army, paramilitary and National Security Guard. The commandos will be given the option to join the state’s SOG as trainers,” said Rakesh Chandra, additional director general of police (ADGP), SOG, said.To recruit these men, the state’s home department provided special sanction after the idea was discussed by the state police chief, DGP Suresh Arora, with chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who is also the home minister.

So far, 180 new recruits of the state police have joined the SOG, which will have 280 men, plus trainers and other officials.“To make the SOG an elite group to combat terrorism, infiltration, hijacking, and other such, sensitive situations, there are also proposals to hire experts from Israel,” said Chandra.

The commandos hired for their feats will work as trainers for every “hit” (squad) comprising 27 men.The four commandos who were part of the PoK surgical strikes are from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, it is learnt; their names were not revealed. For the policemen who join SOG, there are incentives, including insurance of Rs 1 crore.

The annual recurring expenditure on this SOG is estimated to be Rs 5.7 crore. It is headed by an ADGP, with an inspector general (IG) and a DIG to assist.The plan further says the SOG would be divided into three teams, each headed by a superintendent of police (SP)-rank officer who would be below the age of 35. The DSP-rank officers in the team would be aged below 30, and other ranks would be from the 18-25 age group.Once the SOG takes shape, all other specialised units would be merged with it.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 10:11 IST