Twelve female constables of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will be the first women to guard the high-altitude Indo-China borders.
The ‘mahila’ constables, who were flagged off to Leh area in Ladakh last week, will take their positions at the border in a few days. The 12 women from various parts of the country were part of a special contingent of 500 ‘mahila’ constables trained for the purpose.
“These constables have undergone rigorous training so that they can perform their duties as a well-trained combatant at par with their male counterparts,” said Kundan Prashad, commandant, 21 battalion, in a press statement.
The constables will perform their duties at posts located above 14,000 ft under extreme cold and adverse climatic conditions. “The selection criteria is the same as that for male officers, except for the relaxation of height,” said an ITBP spokesman.
The ITBP was raised on October 24, 1962, to guard the borders from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to the Jachep-La in Arunachal Pradesh, covering 3,488km of the Indo-China border and manning outposts at altitudes ranging from 9,000 feet to 18,700 feet in its western, middle and eastern sectors. The ITBP is a specialised mountain force and most of its officers are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers.
The force for the first time had decided to deploy women personnel in combat duties at its high-altitude posts. The 60,000 personnel-strong force will also induct women officers for the first time. ITBP was the only security force in the country that did not have any female officers till now.