The strength of women personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police has swelled to 100 now, a huge upgrade from the mere 12 guarding five check posts near the China border in September this year. The check posts where women have been deployed has also increased from 5 to 15 now. This is the first of its kind Government-driven initiative of women manning the check posts.
Proud to announce the deployment of ‘veeranganas’ or ‘mahila’ combatants in a forward area, ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary stated during his annual press conference that the force has recently completed the full process for posting the women personnel at select forward posts at the dangerous Indo-China border.
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According to Chaudhary, the women troops are well-trained in war craft and have been stationed at the Border Out Posts (BOPs). Officials said that while most of the women are manning the ITBP check posts in the Ladakh frontier, some have been sent to other locations, including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
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The women personnel were first induced in this 80,000 personnel strong force in 2008, and got permission for combat from the Defence Ministry last year only. These women combatants are posted at heights of between 8,000 and 14,000 feet, including the ‘Mana pass’ border post, and the force confirmed that the women are guarding at least 40% of these forward posts.
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When the women were first introduced in these areas of harsh climatic conditions and extreme mountainous terrain, they only worked in the areas of maintaining law and order and frisking women traders at the Nathu La Pass.
ITBP has a total of 1,661 women personnel in its various ranks with the maximum number of 1,033 being in the constabulary.
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times
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