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34 Women’s CRPF Battalions To Combat Maoist Insurgency

CRPF selected its first batch of women commandos to be inducted into its elite CoBRA unit to take on the Maoists along with the all women's brass band

Breaking the glass ceiling, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has selected its first batch of women commandos to be inducted into its elite CoBRA unit to take on the Maoists.

A total of 34 women personnel from CRPF’s all six ‘Mahila Battalions’ have been selected. These commandos will undergo the strenuous Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) pre-induction training of three months.

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A CRPF official told IANS that the exercise will reinforce their physical capabilities and tactical acumen by imparting next level training in firing and special weapons, planning, fieldcraft, explosives, and jungle survival skills.

“After successful completion of their training the batch of these Mahila Warriors will be posted in LWE areas alongside their male counterparts,” the official said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had accorded approval for setting up of sanction of 10 unattached battalions of CoBRA for guerrilla and jungle warfare type operations for dealing with extremists and insurgents.

Two Battalions of the CoBRA force was raised in 2008-09. In 2009-10, the number of the Battalion was increased to four. Later, four more Battalions of the force were raised in 2010-11.

The CRPF currently has 246 Battalions that include 208 executive, six women, 15 RAF, 10 CoBRA, five Signal and one Special Duty Group, 1 Parliament Duty Group.

All the 34 women selected voluntarily suggested their names and 200 more women personnel have also given their names for their selection in the elite unit of the force, CRPF DIG M. Dhinakaran told IANS.

CRPF
Recruits in training. IANS

The women commandoes were formally selected for CoBRA training on Saturday on the 35th Raising Day celebrations of 88th ‘Mahila Battalion’ of the 3.25 lakh strong CRPF, which is mandated to provide internal security across the country and is especially deployed in terror-hit Jammu and Kashmir and Maoist-affected states.

On the occasion, CRPF Director General A. P. Maheshwari, in his address, said that the force has a history of empowered women warriors who have not just brought laurels to the force but have also made the country proud by conspicuous gallantry both at home in India and abroad in several UN peacekeeping missions.

He remarked that while this gender neutrality adds to the diversity of the force, empowered women make an empowered family which eventually empowers the nation.

Raised this day in 1986, the 88 Mahila battalion has completed 34 glorious and eventful years in the service of the nation. The battalion has served across the length and breadth of the country and abroad in the UN peacekeeping missions.

Seven Bravehearts of the battalion have made supreme sacrifice at the altar of duty. The women warriors of this battalion are proud recipients of several gallantry medals including the highest peacetime gallantry award-The Ashok Chakra.

The 88th ‘Mahila Battalion’ of CRPF has the distinction of being the first all-women battalion in the world, said the CRPF in a statement.

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In another first, an all ‘Mahila brass band’ was also formed on this occasion of momentous significance.

The women personnel of CRPF forming the first all-women brass band will also undergo a training course to acquire the requisite skills on the musical instruments. The force already has an all-women pipe band. (IANS)

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