The paramilitary force has deployed about 12 women on five of its check posts near China border which also include tribal areas like Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh for the first time ever. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police( ITBP) has taken this major step on the orders of the central government that direct at least 15% women manning the check posts.
“Right now, only a few women are deputed in the frontiers. More will be deployed in the area from next month onwards,” said HS Goraya, inspector general of police, ITBP, Northern Frontier to Hindustan Times.
“The central government has directed the paramilitary troops to at least deploy 15% women in its check posts,” he said, adding, “As of now, we are creating infrastructure for women troops in the border areas. Separate bunkers are being built for them.”
Women personnel, who were first inducted in 2008, have only last year been given combat orders from the Defense Ministry. The ITBP for the first time last year raised women troops to 500. Women in the paramilitary forces have mainly come from Northern states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and some from Maharashtra as well.
When they were first inducted, they did not have combat powers and only worked in the areas of maintaining law and order and frisking women traders at the Nathu La pas.
About 6000 men from ITBP guarded the border between India and China before the deployment of women personnel. Though a fairly peaceful border, now China has recently started some infrastructure building activity along the border side of Himachal. Consequently, vigil on this side of the border is being increased. The boundary between Himachal and china is 190km wide which comprises 80km through Kinnaur and 110 km through Lahual and Spiti. In its infrastructure building, China has built an airfield in Lupsuk which is 190km away on the side of India from the last border point at Kaurik.
There have been a few cases of smuggling found between these borders. The most recent one happened in 2011 when the police nabbed two trucks full of pashmina wool brought from Chinese villages to Indian borders. The cost of the wool was estimated at 1.5 crores in the international market. It was caught by the police near kharo in Pooh subdivision which is 100km away from a small village close to the China border, Nako.
Feature Image credit: Topyaps