Keeping with the trend of forces increasingly opening doors for women in combat roles, CRPF DG Prakash Mishra on Tuesday said women personnel from the force will soon be pressed into anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
“If Naxals can fight with women cadres, we can fight better,” said Mishra at an event ahead of the Seventh National Conference for Women in Police that CRPF is hosting this year. Addressing a gathering of senior women police officers among others at the CRPF headquarters, Mishra said, “We will soon be sending more women to most difficult operational areas.”
The CRPF has five battalions of women personnel of which four are deployed and one is under raising. However, all women personnel, even those deployed in J&K, are largely restricted to administrative or law and order duties. Women as yet have not been pressed into combat action.
Two years ago, CRPF had sent a unit of women fighters to Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh in combat operations. It was part of a pilot project launched to assess feasibility of pressing women personnel in Naxal areas. “It went off well. We want more women to come and fight alongside men. We are now in the process of creating infrastructure for women to be able to function in Naxal areas,” said a senior CRPF officer. Lack of infrastructure, which includes toilets, has been one of the primary roadblocks to women being deployed in tough operational areas.
While the cumulative strength of the six paramilitary forces is over 9 lakh, there are just over 18,000 women personnel, making their representation in the central forces less than 3 per cent.
Odisha to give risk allowance to only combatants
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government Tuesday decided to discontinue payment of risk allowance to non-combatant commandos of the anti-Maoist force Special Operation Group. Started in 2004, the SOG is a specialised force of under-35 policemen. In view of the risk that the job carried, all members of the force — those in field as well in the SOG training centre in Bhubaneswar — got 60 per cent more basic salary as incentive. But with Maoist violence on the decline on Odisha borders, the home department said Tuesday that only those SOG personnel active in anti-Maoist operations would be given the allowance. ENS