In a first, almost 560 women commandos will be appointed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for undertaking anti-Naxal operations in Maoist-infested states. The women passed out of the force's training academy in Ajmer, Rajasthan, last week.
The ambitious plan of inducting these women into the challenging combat role started last week. CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India that the women would be deployed in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas in a batch of 100 personnel at a time.
"These women who passed out on May 6 from Ajmer have been trained keeping in mind the LWE tasks rendered by us. We thought to give them the toughest assignment in their initial years of service itself. Initially these women personnel will be deployed in one company at a time and after some time their deployment and work utility would be scaled up," he was quoted as saying by the agency.
The CRPF has reportedly begun creating infrastructure and barracks for the women at certain locations and many more facilities will be added. The force has been working on the concept that if Maoists can have women in their ranks, so can the security forces.
While in the academy, the women have been training intensively for 44 weeks in jungle warfare, smart-weapon firing, unarmed combat, firing and other drills, after which they were commissioned into the 232nd battalion of the CRPF, said the PTI report.
A battalion reportedly has about 1,000 personnel.
According to officials quoted by the agency, the women personnel will be operating from "active" CRPF bases and will undertake patrols like their male counterparts. In addition, these women commandos will also carry arms.
The CRPF is trained not only for anti-Naxal operations but is also active during crises, rescuing citizens endangered during terrorist attacks, besides undertaking counter-terrorism operations, India Strategic reports.
Some of the Naxalite-controlled territories in India run through the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. These extremist groups usually have support of the tribal people.