In the wake of the recent Azad Maidan riot, which occurred on August 11, the police department decided to train its personnel in Korean martial art taekwondo along with lathi-charge, lathi-shield and other forms of physical training.
Starting October 5, constables were divided into batches and were asked to report at the ACP office in their areas around 6 am daily. The practice goes on till 10 am.
“We are given breakfast during the training, comprising two eggs, jam and bread, a glass of milk, which motivates us to attend the training session,” said a constable who has been attending the training session regularly.
The decision to train them was taken after the peace march, which was held to condemn violence in Assam, turned violent and left 44 police personnel hospitalised. The protesters who went on a rampage, pelted stones at police personnel and torched police vans.
A police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “Policemen were asked not to lathi-charge or fire at the crowd. But if you are trained in martial art, you can at least be fit and nobody will dare to touch you. Taekwondo could be helpful in self-defence.”
All police constables, below the age of 40, have to attend training session, batches of which are being held at the Additional Police Commissioner (ACP) offices of their respective divisions.
ACP Praveen Salunke (Central region) said, “During our police training, which we undergo before joining the force, we are taught several things to maintain our fitness. But due to our busy schedules, we are unable to practice them. We have to make an effort to practice them again.”
A police officer requesting anonymity said most of the constables had gained weight, which had made it difficult to run after a chain-snatcher or a thief. “Such classes will keep improve their fitness level,” said the officer.