By Ibochouba Maibam
IMPHAL, Nov 23: The Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS), in Vairangte, Mizoram, gives not only jungle warfare and counter insurgency training, but also normal education at its Information and Research Centre instituted under the name of the founder of the school Brig Mathew Thomas inside the school campus.
The Centre imparts to students knowledge of current events and developments in science and technology through newspapers and TV.
It also educates them of the different communities and religions of the Northeast region, besides of course the ways of militants organisations of the Northeast and their history.
The CIJWS, it may be recalled has the reputation of being one of world’s most prestigious special warfare training institutions, with troops from several countries participating in its programmes.
Vairengte is a town in the Kolasib district of Mizoram about 130 km from Aizawl.
The CIJWS was established in 1970 and the motto is “fight a guerrilla like a guerrilla”.
A demo was witnessed by a Manipur media team which toured Mizoram under the banner of the All Manipur Working Journalist Union, AMWJU, and sponsored by the Manipur government.
Maj Gen AK Raj Senha and other officials briefing the visiting journalists sketched a history of the CIJWS.
So far about 26 countries including the United States, Singapore, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afganistan, Tajiskistan, Brazil, Srilanka, Niger, etc had trained and the number of trained officer are about 6391, JCOs 10092, and OR 1454557.
A spokesperson nd said students are imparted special skills in countering insurgency.
More interestingly, selected officers, JCOs and NCOs, no matter where their posting, as well as men of the CRPF, BSF and Assam Rifles, besides “students” from foreign countries, are enrolled for an extensive course in basic as well as NE-specific CI operations.
The success of this school prompted another counter insurgency training centre, the Kaziranga special jungle warfare training school in North Eastern India, added the spokesperson.
Demonstration of how the students were provide training were also shown.
The original plans to setup a counter insurgency unit to train soldiers came up following fighting with Mizo militants in the 1960s, he said.
General Sam Manekshaw mooted the idea for such training and it took shape in 1967, he further said.
The crisis in neighboring Bangladesh however prompted a temporary rethink as the academy trained the Mukti Bahini guerrillas to attack Pakistan Army strongholds.
Operation Jackpot was one such naval operation undertaken by the rebels largely aided and planned by Indians that drove home the strength of this school.
After the Indo Pakistan War 1971, it returned to its primary focus of counter insurgency, it said.