Five percent women among central troopers



Agartala: The central government has directed the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to recruit five percent women troopers, a top officer said here Thursday.

"With the direction of the central government, most of the central forces have started recruiting more women personnel in their forces to fulfil the five percent target," Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) chief Pranay Sahay said.

He said, "Currently, the CRPF has three Mahila battalions (Women's battalions) out of the total strength of 222 battalions. "Now, the women's personnel strength is 2.85 percent of the current strength of 244,200 CRPF troopers."

"We are now on the process of raising five more battalions, including, the three Mahila battalions," said Sahay, who was earlier director general of Tripura Police and came here on the invitation of the state government to attend the swearing-in-ceremony of the Left Front ministry Wednesday.

There are six CAPFs in the country under the union home ministry: CRPF, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and National Security Guard (NSG).

Counter-insurgency trained Assam Rifles (AR) is the lone central paramilitary force that is under the command of the army and under the administrative control of the home ministry.

The BSF, AR, ITBP and SSB are the 'border guarding forces' while the CRPF assists the state governments and union territories to deal with the internal securities and counter insurgency operations.

Sahay said: "Seventy-five CRPF battalions, around 38 percent of the total strength have been deployed in the Maoist affected areas of the country alone, followed by 33 percent in Jammu and Kashmir, 18 percent (35 battalions) in the northeast region and remaining in various parts of the country."

He said that the specially trained CRPF troopers have been deployed in the Maoist hit areas of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and Maharashtra.

"Our thrust area right now is in the Maoist area only," said the CRPF chief.

He said that the CRPF troopers are also geared up with all modern weapons and gadgets to curb the Maoist insurgency in the country.

He asserted that the CAPF is well-equipped and have the latest arms and technology to counter Maoist and other threats.

"We have procured very high degree of equipments especially with reference to the threat to Maoist areas. In fact, the CRPF uses the best weapons. We are much better than our adversaries," Sahay added.

He said: "We also used unmanned aerial vehicles and observe the movement of unwanted people on the ground."

"Our troopers have got expected skills. We don't have problem."

IANS