January 25, 2015 9:06:25 am
Authorities at the Police Training Centre in Khandala brushed aside allegations that harsh and tough training sessions were reason for the death of a 28-year-old woman recruit at the five-decade-old academy. They said 35 to 40 trainees had fallen sick recently. They had cold, cough and in some cases fever but were given medical care and exempted from rigorous training till they recovered.
There is a training school in Nagpur like the PTC at Khandala. The current batch of 800 trainees at PTC began their nine-month training on November 23.
A senior officer at PTC said, “Aviksha complained of backache on December 15 and was given rest. After that it was made sure she took part in physical training sessions only when she felt she could. She continued attend class room lessons. She was treated at local hospitals. On January 3, she was taken to the district hospital in Aundh and on January 5 to Sassoon hospital.” She underwent surgery but suffered paralysis. She breathed her last in the early hours of Saturday.
The officer added, “The current session began the training on November 23. Some trainees found it difficult to adjust to the cold climate. In December, 35 to 40 of the 800 trainees complained of cold and cough, and in some cases mild fever and even muscle pain, all within two weeks. They were given medical care and told to skip training, even classroom lectures in some cases.”
Reacting to allegations that training regimen was harsh, deputy superintendent of police Sadashiv Nikam said, “It is false. Training is well designed to make police constables versatile and tough. For example, even the distance they are asked to run every morning is increased step by step from a kilometre in the first week to a maximum of four kilometres after five weeks. As standard practice, whenever a trainee complains of a health issue, she is given medical care and taken off training.”
A trainee said, “Training is supposed to make us strong. Rigorous training is part of the programme. None of it is harsh. We are never asked to stretch beyond limit. Punishment is given to groups, not individually.” Another trainee said, “I had cough and cold in December when temperature dropped. I was allowed to skip parade, PT for two days. I just attended lectures. Food is good. Almost all us have improved in strength and stamina.”
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