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Chitale wants to train more recruits, if the govt. allows it

Chitale wants to train more recruits, if the govt. allows it

Author: Deepak Joshi
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: November 16, 2002

Though the Titwala police ignored it in its remand application in the Kalyan court today, Colonel Chitale's Maharashtra Commando Academy has recruited a second batch of youngsters to give military training. However, the training couldn't begin as both Chitale and his commando trainers Sanjeev Atre were arrested by the police.

However, the controversy did not seem to have affected Colonel Chitale, who returned to the Academy campus to train the fresh batch, and said he would continue the work unless specifically directed by the government not to do so.

Elaborating, Chitale said: "The academy is not only to fight terrorism, but also crime, corruption, natural calamities etc. My boys have helped the Pune police maintain law and order during Ganesh festivals, Ambedkar Jayanti and other communally sensitive festivals."

The group of youths who reached the academy campus at Vasad village near Ambernath belonged to Satara in Central Maharashtra. Said 23-year-old Prasad Jadhav: "We saw the Academy ad in newspapers in Satara and decided to join. The ad did not mention anything about suicide squads. We heard about it when we landed here."

Rohit Deshpande, 21-year-old graduate from Satara, did not seemed ruffled by the newspaper reports about suicide squads. "When I decided to join this academy, I knew I would have to sacrifice my life for the country. Whether I am a part of a suicide squad or not makes no difference.

Echoing the same opinion, Satish Kale, another recruit from Satara, said it did not matter to him, if he had to travel anywhere for any mission after training. "I am willing to go anywhere after completing the training. Even if it is Pakistan."

A mechanical engineer, Pune-based Colonel Chitale claimed he joined the Indian Army in June 1968, and retired after a distinguished career in 1987. He participated in the 1971 war with Pakistan and was deployed in the Sialkot sector. "I also was part of the unfortunate Blue Star Operation at the Golden temple. Unfortunate, because the operation should not have been conducted," Chitale said.

"After my retirement, I helped set up military training schools at Raigad and Murbad. Organisations like Arya Samaj from Haryana, RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal have invited me to conduct these training programme. Pune's Symbiosis Institute also approached me to introduce commando training in their curriculum," Chitale said.

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