Siliguri: Following on the heels of other paramilitary forces, the Border Security Force (BSF) recently deployed women constables at the border outposts in West Bengal along the India-Bangladesh border.
The women contingent of the BSF is well trained and comprises of 50 women constables, who are responsible for patrolling, frisking and interrogating local women.
Deputy Commandant of the 48th Battalion of BSF, Dinesh Kumar, said that earlier they had problems in frisking local women living in Indian villages on the other side of the fencing.
Speaking to reporters here, Kumar said, “Many villagers have their fields across the border fencing and many villages are also beyond the fencing at the border. Like, in this area, six Indian villages are beyond the border fencing, so the villagers and females frequently cross the border to visit markets. Earlier, we were unable to frisk local women crossing the border, but women constables have been deployed along the border to interrogate and question these women.”
BSF was in need of women personnel as it was impossible to detain women for physical checks.
Simajit Kar, one of the women BSF constables deployed in the region, said, “This is for the first time that BSF women constables are deployed along the border. Lack of women constables was the main problem here as men constables were not able to frisk local women crossing the border. With the deployment of women constables, now there is no problem in frisking and interrogating local women crossing the border. Our duties include patrolling, frisking and checking. We also do patrolling at night.”
The initial recruits have the rank of a constable. Based on their performance, the BSF will decide whether to induct more women personnel for the border surveillance and inspection duties.
BSF now has an armed women’s wing. It is hoped that deployment of women constables would help in checking cross-border illegal activities.
The area of responsibility of the women’s wing is 50.52 kilometres along the India -Bangladesh border, which had problems like cross-border smuggling of drugs, arms and ammunition and cattle, and also alleged trafficking in women.