In A First CRPF To Deploy Women Personnel In J&K Anti-Militancy Ops

Srinagar- For the first time, the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is mulling to train and deploy women personnel during anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir from March next, Hindustan Times reported on Friday.

The report quoted CRPF inspector general (Srinagar sector) Charu Sinha as saying that the idea was being discussed as they felt women often feel uncomfortable during the cordon and search operations by male-dominated security forces.

“Earlier somebody may not have thought about this but every day when we are out involved for [counter-insurgency] operations, we enter houses and there are Kashmiri women there… I realise that we cannot send [male personnel]. We do not want to offend their sensibilities. So, we thought what better way to handle it than bringing the women component.”

Besides assisting police in law and order maintenance, CRPF is also actively taking part in cordon and search operations.

Sinha, as per the report said the CRPF’s operations have become more fine-tuned and technically sounder. “We have focused a lot on training…we are now stressing on our women component…”

She also maintained that the force wants women to be comfortable during searches amid allegations of harassment during counter-insurgency operations,

“We respect the sentiments of the locals…when we are dealing with the women population, we would like them to be comfortable.” Sinha said.

She said it was being done on an experimentation basis. “…we have to see how they get trained,” she said, adding, their women personnel are very good, have a younger age profile, and are very enthusiastic and keen.

The senior CRPF personal said as part of an experiment, they brought in a team that worked for about six months. “We trained it, put them in the field, and tested the level of interest and competence. We found they were very good and sincere and very hard-working. Now, based on that, we have decided to take this forward.”

By March, women personnel should be on the field after four to six-week additional training. “We will introduce them into different operations and then we will see how it works out. They will get additional training here because this is a separate theatre.”

Sinha said the women component will be doing everything that their male colleagues do. “Their training is the same as men; so is their weaponry,” she told the HT.

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