Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad sent an all-women team to Botad to arrest a criminal, Jusaab Allrakha, wanted in no less than 23 cases murder, extortion, loot etc on Sunday. The team comprised of 30-year-old Santok Odedra (Police Sub-Inspector heading the team), Nitmika Gohil (34), Aruna Gameti (40), Shakuntala Mal (29) and Jignesh Agrawat.

The four-member team got a prompt on his whereabouts in the middle of a deserted forest area in Devgadh, Botad. They immediately left for the place where they chased him and arrested Allrakha who has been in hiding since 2017. He is an infamous criminal who has serious charges booked against him in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Junagadh.

ATS deputy inspector general (DIG) Himanshu Shukla told DNA that it is not the first time that a team of women officers were sent on such a crucial field operation but this was the first time that a woman officer also headed the team of women officers. “All of these brave officers had been assisting in many cases and helped crack a lot of them as well. We don’t discriminate on whether it is a woman officer or a male officer,” Shukla said.

“There has been no discrimination that I have faced at least. But there are some who might believe that women officers are meant for desk jobs. To them, I’ll say that they should not underestimate women,” added Odedra to Shukla’s contention on gender equality in opportunities in ATS.

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The gangster had been on the run for the past two years and had created a cloud of fear around him. He had skipped parole and was accused of a murder in Rajkot in 2017. Well-versed with jungle routes, he used to terrorise and subdue the locals

These officers belong to the first batch of women trained in anti-terror operations and posted in the Anti-Terrorism Squad. After the squad nabbed him, a picture of the four women officers pointing guns at the gangster went viral. Talking about the idea behind taking the picture, Odedra told Indian Express, “The idea was to send a message to the local cops that Jusab is a nobody. Isko toh female officers ne hi pakad liya (This man was caught by women officers).”

“The gangster had been on the run for the past two years and had created a cloud of fear around him. He had skipped parole and was accused of a murder in Rajkot in 2017. Well-versed with jungle routes, he used to terrorise and subdue the locals,” she revealed about the criminal.

Another officer Mal said, “Jusab had a horse with him and he used to ride it often, carrying weapons on his back, and used to scale the forest area. He lived in a hut which had no power connection and no mobile phone. He had become some sort of folklore among the locals of Junagadh and Botad.”

The women officers did ballistic training for one year before joining the police service. “We have been trained to handle all kinds of automatic and semi-automatic weapons in the police academy. We were also trained to survive in forest areas with minimum resources. This training came in handy in the operation. Even in the ATS, we get trained on a continuous basis and the women officers are as prepared as the men,” Mal added.

Picture credit- IB Times

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