Railway's commando unit CORAS, whose first deployment will be in Naxal-hit areas of Chhattisgarh, will have a state-of-the-art facility exclusively for its training in Haryana's Jagadhri city, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the launch of the Commandos for Railway Safety (CORAS), Goyal said he has approved the setting up of the institute and instructed the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to provide them with training of international standards.
"Keeping in mind the threat from disruptive forces, induction of CORAS was planned in the Railway Protection Force. CORAS team will be provided best, most modern equipment and world class training," he said.
"A new state-of-the-art commando training centre for RPF will be started in Jagadhri, Haryana which will have access to the latest technology and equipment," the minister said.
He added that CCTV cameras will be set up at every station to enhance the security of passengers.
The link of these cameras will be given to the local stations, GRP, RPF, divisional office and the minister's office, Goyal said.
The commando unit is being envisaged as a responder for any situation pertaining to damage, disturbance, disruption of train operations, attack/hostage/hijack, disaster situations in railway areas, said DG RPF Arun Kumar.
Kumar identified areas of concern for railways in terms of security which will be addressed by CORAS -- Naxal and Left Wing extremism in Garhchiroli in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar, insurgency in northeast states like Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh and threat of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The challenge to the security agencies is likely to be formidable post revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the J&K into two UTs. The security scenario had worsened post-neutralisation of Burhan Wani in July 2016 with cycles of violence with periods of lull in between. The growing trend of local recruitment into militants' ranks noticed recently will remain a matter of concern," he said.
Comprising RPF and Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) personnel, the CORAS is headed by the RPF DG and is armed with special uniforms with bullet-proof jackets, helmets and sophisticated weapons and will secure railway property and passengers against such threats, he said.
The RPF DG said there are 14 battalions of the RPSF and one of its battalion has been converted into CORAS.
The men of CORAS have been trained in the NSG academy and Greyhounds, he said.
Greyhounds specialises in anti-insurgency operations against Naxalites.
CORAS commandos will be undergoing training programmes, including basic and advanced commando courses with specialisation in handling landmines and improvised explosive devices, hostage rescue, sniping and breaching.
"CORAS' first deployment will be in naxal-hit Chattisgarh. They will also be deployed in areas where railway has major ongoing projects which need security like north eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir," the director general of the RPF said.
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