CRPF mulls deployment of women personnel during anti insurgency opns in Kashmir: report

Idea is to make women comfortable during the operations: official
A security woman frisks and inspects a notebook of a local Kashmiri student as authorities heightened the security across Kashmir.
A security woman frisks and inspects a notebook of a local Kashmiri student as authorities heightened the security across Kashmir.File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Dec 30: For the first time in the history of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is thinking of training women personnel for their deployment during counter-insurgency operations, a media report said today.

“The idea was being discussed as they felt women often feel uncomfortable during the cordon and search operations by male-dominated security forces,” said CRPF inspector general (Srinagar sector) Charu Sinha, reported Hindustan Times.

“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."

As part of Standard Operating Procedure, CRPF remains involved in cordon and search operations along with Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Army.

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..."

Sinha said that the motive behind the proposal is to make women comfortable during the operations. “We respect the sentiments of the locals...when we are dealing with the women population, we would like them to be comfortable."

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.

As part of an experiment, Sinha said, 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."

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