Thrissur, Jul 31 (PTI) At a time when the CRPF is getting ready to deploy a women contingent in Kashmir, the Kerala Police today got its first all woman battalion with 578 members. Also Read - It's Time to Bring Back An Age-Old Concept of Exchanging Pleasantries And Greetings

The batallion includes a 44-member commando team. Also Read - UP Gram Panchayat Election 2021 Phase 1 Voting Live: Polling in 18 Districts Begins

The passing out parade was held at the Kerala Police Academy ground here with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan taking the salute. Also Read - Coronavirus Live Updates April 15, 2021: Negative RT-PCR Test Report Mandatory to Enter 3 Temples in Varanasi

Addressing the battalion, he said the new recruits should stand for secularism and women empowerment.

The government was taking various steps for ensuring gender equality and as part of this efforts were being made to ensure 25 per cent representation of women in police force.

Presently, the strength of women in the force was 15 per cent, he said.

The women have been inducted into the force after carrying out special recruitment.

The CPI-M-led LDF Government had in 2017 announced its intention of forming a Thiruvananthapuram based womens battalion and their training had commenced in September last year.

In addition to basic training, the members of the battalion have been trained in kalaripayattu, karate, firing, weapons, swimming, yoga, driving, computers, soft skills, forest operations and handling issues of women, children and transgenders, the chief minister said in a tweet.

To ensure women’s safety, in all panchayats along with police, the services of ‘nirbhaya’ volunteers will also be utilised, he said.

Vijayan said there is need to have a women’s friendly approach while drafting policies.

A special contingent of about 500 women CRPF personnel has been brought to Kashmir valley for regular security duties.

A senior officer of the paramilitary force said early this month that the women, after their induction training and combat-stress inoculation, would be deployed in the valley to tackle stone-pelters and protesters, including women.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.