New Delhi, July 2: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has deployed over 500 women commandos in Jammu and Kashmir to deal with stone pelters, among which young girls are increasingly figuring. Reports claim that these women commandos are likely to be deployed in disturbed belts of Srinagar, Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Budgam and Anantnag.
The female commandos have been given rigorous training which includes being blindfolded to deal with night-time deployment and repairing malfunctioning weapons in under a minute. The women personnel of this unit like their male counterparts would be equipped with full body protection dress, helmets, wooden sticks, tear gas shotgun shells, as well as pelargonic acid vanillyl amide (PAVA) shells or chilli-filled grenades, plastic bullets and other necessary things used to control the crowd during incidents of stone pelting.
Talking to news agency IANS, CRPF Inspector General, Operations, Zulfiqar Hasan said,”Incidents of stone pelting have repeatedly been challenging security forces across Jammu and Kashmir. It is more challenging than militancy.”
Furthermore he stated, “As young men usually form groups and participate in stone-pelting incidents here (Jammu and Kashmir), the number of women participants too is on the rise. We are in the process now to launch a special CRPF women commandos unit to deal with women as well as men who throw stones. Over 800 women personnel are being trained here for the purpose.”
On being asked about the exact time of their deployment, the CRPF IG informed “Our women commandos are on the verge of completing their training. They will be used to deal with stone-pelters within 15-20 days.”
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, paramilitary force’s director general said that women were deployed in valley earlier as well but their use in handling extreme situations was limited.
Notably, the security forces have been repeatedly challenged by the incidents of stone pelting across the Valley in recent times. Earlier on May 2, a bus carrying school students was attacked by stone-pelters in Zawoora village of Shopian district. On May 7, a 22-year-old tourist from Chennai, died in a hospital after being hit by a stone during clashes in Narbal area of valley.
(With inputs from agencies)