THE 41 Artillery Division, also known as Agnibaaz Division, a formation of Pune headquartered-Southern Command of the Indian Army, recently organised a joint exercise along with Maharashtra Police in Pune, with an aim to “harmonise anti-terror responses”.
While the joint anti-terror exercise, named Suraksha Kawach (security shield) was held at Lullanagar in Pune on October 9, the details of the joint training were released by Army authorities on Tuesday.
A press statement from the Southern Command in this regard read, “The aim of the exercise was to harmonise the drills and procedures of both Army and police for activating anti-terrorist Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) to counter any terrorist actions in Pune. The exercise involved participation of QRTs, dog squads and bomb disposal teams of Army as well as Anti-Terrorism Squad and Quick Reaction Team of Maharashtra Police.”
For the purpose of the joint drill, a simulated scenario was built up regarding the presence of terrorists in family accommodations at Lullanagar area, based on which QRTs of Army initially established the outer cordon. Traffic control on the nearby roads was jointly carried out by teams from Maharashtra traffic police and Corps of Military Police of the Army.
Joint action was then carried out by the Army’s Counter Terrorism Task Force and QRT of Maharashtra Police to neutralise terrorists, it involved room intervention drill, search of room for any unidentified items or explosives by dog squads and their neutralisation or defusion by bomb disposal units, said officials.
On the sidelines of the exercise, an equipment display was also organised, showcasing important equipment required for the conduct of this exercise. The exercise was carried out taking all safety norms of Covid-19 into consideration and strength of participating troops was scaled down accordingly.
“The exercise provided an opportunity for both Army and Police to cooperate, coordinate, co-opt and streamline their drills and procedures. Overall, it was a great learning experience for both,” read the press statement.
A senior officer from Maharashtra Police said the purpose of the joint exercise was to achieve maximum possible coordination in a possible terror situation in an urban setting like Pune.
“The Army formations, with their vast experience of anti-terror operations, and our teams from local police and ATS, which have understanding of the local settings, can certainly partner with and complement each other in such operations. The exercise not only gave both sides a chance to understand each other and communicate better on ground, but also in the command and control level,” said the officer.
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