A contingent of 500 women personnel was commissioned into the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at Panchkula’s Bhanu Camp on Friday. This is the first time that ITBP is deploying a ‘mahila’ squad at the front, in such high-altitude posts along the 3,488-km Sino-India Line of Actual Control (LAC). Because of the harsh climatic conditions there, and the difficult mountain terrain, this region is considered to be one of the most strenuous and risky ones.
The women were admitted into the border-guarding force after 44-weeks of training in battle craft and mountain survival.
They are in the rank of constable and are expected to be posted at 20 forward locations of ITBP situated at heights of 8,000-14,000 feet by March this year. These posts include the Mana pass border post, which is the last village on the Indian side in Uttarakhand.
The women come from different states and were recruited in ITBP last year. 97 of them hail from Uttarakhand, 10 from Himachal Pradesh, 51 from Bihar, 11 from Haryana, 22 from Rajasthan, 63 from Uttar Pradesh and 35 from Maharashtra.
“You will be further trained in field training and high- altitude acclimatisation before your final deployment. I am sure you will do the country and the force proud,” ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary told the squad after reviewing their passing out parade at the Basic Training Centre (BTC) in Bhanu.
ITBP is currently creating residential facilities for the women personnel at the posts. According the reports, the force is planning to have women constitute at least 40 percent of its strength at these forward posts. Women were first inducted into the force in 2008, but their role was limited to law and order duties. ITBPF is a specialized mountain Force that was raised on 24 October, 1962 after the Chinese aggression.