CRPF To Deploy Women’s Battalion To Tackle Maoists In Bastar

Delhi HC rebukes CRPF

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is going to deploy a 240-strong women’s battalion with the already existing Bastaria battalion that consists of 743 male personnel. The women are currently undergoing training to fight against Maoists in the jungles of south Bastar.

The women will fight the maoists alongside men. Their addition is significant as they will also help bridge the gap between the CRPF and the locals.

At a high level meeting, the CRPF has proposed that instead of fighting with the tribals with guns, they need to focus on “people domination” rather than “area domination”. Hence, the force has come up with an “out-of-the-box idea to combat Maoists” by adding more women in the force.

Another interesting fact is that these women are from among tribals in Bastar region.

“They will help us build bridges with the local population as they know the language and the culture. We are specially pushing for women as villagers will be softer towards them and when they accompany our men, no one will accuse them of having committed rape,” CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar told The Sunday Express

The locals have often accused the CRPF personnel of sexually harassing tribal girls. However the force has always denied the allegations. This is one of the major reasons why CRPF could never reach out to the locals.

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“No one wants to be accused of something like this and then suffer an inquiry. That is why most of our men avoid being in contact with villagers,” a CRPF officer said.

The anti-Naxal operations have also led to discord among CRPF and the locals. The villagers also feel scared to disclose information on Maoists.

The CRPF hasn’t been very successful in piercing through the tribal villages and developing intelligence network in the area, sources said. As of now, CRPF is reliant on Central intelligence agencies and local police.

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