Earlier this week, there were reports of the Chhattisgarh police deploying more women commandos in the Maoist-infested districts.
In a similar move, the Indian Express has reported that the Delhi Police will induct women into its Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for the first time. The SWAT team deals with anti-terror operations, high-profile armed criminals and dangerous hostage situations; and already has a strength of 200 personnel. Now, 40 women are all set to be a part of it.
Equipped with the latest weapons and other technical equipment, the SWAT team of the Delhi Police is expected to respond immediately to terror threats. When Mumbai was under siege on November 26, 2008, it took 12 hours before NSG commandos were pressed into action due to logistical concerns. To avoid such a scenario in the future, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed the Delhi Police to set up a SWAT team of its own in 2009.
“The move will take the size of the team to 240,” a senior police officer told the Indian Express. “The induction of women will begin with the recruitment of the new batch of personnel in the force. They will be trained and equipped along with their male counterparts. Their deployment will also be on the same lines across the city.”
The SWAT team is on constant alert round the clock. The personnel not on duty are undergoing their routine 15-day training programme to keep them sharp.
“The unit, which was formed before the Commonwealth Games, is best equipped to handle crises in the capital as its training and combat skills are Delhi-centric—from climbing multi-storey buildings within seconds to rescuing hostages from a room located in the core of a hotel or a DTC bus or the Metro,” says this report in the Economic Times.
The personnel are handpicked from the Delhi Police constabulary, and the team is headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)-level officer.
These commandos are put through a rigorous 10-month training exercise akin to what their NSG counterparts undergo. With the training centre in Jharoda Kalan, they are equipped with the nuances of operating in residential complexes, crowded markets and government premises. They are also trained in Krav Maga, a military self-defence and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces.
“We feel the women personnel of the Delhi Police should take a leading role in critical situations as well, and we are working towards it,” said Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to the Indian Express, when asked about the induction of 40 women into the SWAT team.
These women are expected to be selected from among 2424 out of 7307 vacancies in the Delhi Police reserved for women.