After Rigorous Training, CoBRA Commandos Deployed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara District
Following extensive training in the forests of Jammu and Kashmir, the initial cohort of CoBRA commandos, a specialized unit within the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), has been stationed in Kupwara district, as reported by India TV.
This marks the first deployment of the Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) to Jammu and Kashmir since their establishment in 2009, primarily to combat Maoist insurgencies in central and eastern India.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, an official stated, ‘Some CoBRA companies were relocated from Bihar and Jharkhand due to decreased Naxal violence in those areas. Their training began six months ago in the jungles of J&K. Their training is now complete, and they are stationed in Kupwara, although they have not yet been engaged in any operations.’
The decision to deploy CoBRA commandos to Jammu and Kashmir was made in April and aligns with the government’s strategy to employ this specialized force in regions where the Armed Forces Special Power Act has been lifted.
CoBRA, often referred to as ‘jungle warriors,’ was established in response to the Naxalite threat to India’s internal security. Over the years, CoBRA teams have successfully neutralized top Naxal leaders, contributing to a reduction in Naxal violence. They possess expertise in dealing with militants in jungle and hilly terrain, similar to the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. Officials anticipate their deployment in such areas in the coming years.
In October 2009, during a period of numerous Naxalite attacks, then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh identified Maoists as India’s most significant internal security threat. This led to the formation of ten additional battalions within the CRPF, including CoBRA, dedicated to jungle warfare operations against Maoists.
CoBRA, also known as the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, excels in jungle warfare and can cover up to 72 km in a single day in such terrain, returning to base after completing missions. They are skilled in helicopter-borne insertions in jungle regions and undergo rigorous jungle warfare and tactics training at a dedicated camp in Belagavi, Karnataka, before deployment. CoBRA personnel are selected from the CRPF, and there are currently ten CoBRA Units.