CRPF's first women team inducted into CoBRA commando unit to take on Naxals

CRPF's first women team inducted into CoBRA commando unit to take on Naxals
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A maiden contingent of 34 CRPF women personnel was on Saturday inducted into its specialised jungle warfare commando force CoBRA, which will soon be deployed in the anti-Naxal operations grid of the country.The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was raised under the CRPF in 2009 for undertaking intelligence-based jungle warfare operations. It has been an all-male affair for this unit till now. The majority of CoBRA teams, whose commandos are expected to have tough mental and physical attributes, are deployed in various Maoist violence-affected states while a few are based in the northeastern states for undertaking counter-insurgency operations.

A ceremonial event was held at the forces' camp in Kadarpur village here with CRPF Director General A P Maheshwari witnessing combat drills performed by the chosen women as he underlined that it was important to defeat gender-based beliefs and stereotypes.The personnel, earmarked for CoBRA, have been chosen from the existing six all-women battalions of the force, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) spokesperson said."These women will undergo a pre-induction training for three months and subsequently will be embedded with CoBRA units deployed in Naxal violence-affected districts of Chhattisgarh like Sukma, Dantewada and Bijapur," the spokesperson said.

An all-women brass band of the country's largest paramilitary was also commissioned during the ceremony that was held to mark the 35th Raising Day anniversary of its first women battalion.The first battalion, numbered 88, was raised this day in 1986 at a CRPF base in Delhi and the force now has six such units with just over 1,000 personnel in each. They are deployed for rendering various kinds of law and order duties across the country.

The CRPF also has an all-women pipe band that was raised in 2012. Maheshwari lauded the women, saying they are an inspiration for numerous young girls who aspire to do good for themselves and the country. He said these combatants have proved that power is not in the muscles but in the head.