In 1974, I was detailed to undergo the Basic Provost course along with the Army at their CMP Centre and School, then located at Faizabad. Faizabad is a small town about a hundred Kilometers from Lucknow. More important it is only about 13 Km from Ayodhya, the birth place of Rama.
In those days the Army Centre for Police training was located at Faizabad. Later it shifted to Bangalore. I attended the course as an Air Force Officer and it was a wonderful experience undergoing the course. Faizabad is part of history and a lot of fighting took place during the 1857 mutiny. Thus age-old buildings and play grounds are in existence from that period. The Army was using it as a school to train officers for provost duties.
The School set in lush pastoral surroundings, had an excellent officers mess and club. These are still in existence even now. I remember our Commandant of the school was Colonel Grant an Anglo-Indian and he certainly gave his all to train the officers in Police duties. The instructors were also from the civil Police and some of them were IPS officers, who gave a wealth of Information to the student officers.
There were plenty of outdoor exercises including an exercise of a Military Police patrol in the Red Light area of Faizabad, with visits to the Faizabad District jail thrown in. Meeting the condemned prisoners (who had been awarded the Death sentence) was a sobering experience. The call girls in the red light district would call out to us, but we gave them no attention.
A lot many outdoor exercises to control troop movements and dealing with deserters was also on the anvil. Speed checks and crime detection were also part of the syllabus. The Commandant carried the school on his shoulders and certainly set an example in correct behaviour and etiquette. At the end of the day there was the officers Mess bar, where the Commandant would join for a peg of good scotch whisky.
The course was for eight weeks and after that there was a written test as well as a practical exercise test. Almost all passed and at the end there was the farewell dinner dance in the Officers mess. It was a gala affair and student officers had that one chance to beat up and say goodbye.
Next day with clinical efficiency the student officers were transferred to the Railway station and all were on their way back to their parent units. Though the School has shifted to Bangalore, the CMP centre and School at Faizabad will always have a niche in the history of the Indian Army.
Article Source Link by Madan G Singh