India: Goan police 'trained in street-fighting'

Archive image of police in Goa in 2008

Police in the laidback Indian state of Goa are being trained in street-fighting moves used in blockbuster films such as James Bond's Skyfall, it's reported.

It's a popular haunt of Western backpackers, attracted by beach parties, but it seems Goa's authorities are increasingly concerned that rowdy behaviour is scaring off up-market travellers. And the First Post newspaper suggests local bobbies are ill-equipped to deal with incidents: "Goa Police have been criticised for their high-handedness, lack of investigative skills and poor human-rights record. Now they are banking on Krav Maga to add a cutting edge to their combat skills."

Meaning "close combat" in Hebrew, Krav Maga is a form of martial arts developed in Israel and used by special forces worldwide. India's own marine commandos deployed Krav Maga in fighting the Mumbai terror attackers in 2008, and instructor Elroy Vaz tells the Times of India the initial focus of the Goan training is on foiling terrorists. Talks are reportedly ongoing over a wider training programme, with local officer Devendra Gad reportedly saying his colleagues look forward to more sessions: "The boys saw it as a very beneficial exercise."

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