In a first, BSF women to guard Bangla, Pak borders

Breaching yet another male citadel, women will now guard India's border with Pakistan and assist in checking women and child-trafficking as well as narcotics smuggling. The Border Security Force is, as part of its expansion plans, commissioning its first female battalion at the end of the month.

Border Security Force Director General M L Kumawat told mediapersons at the BSF headquarter of Jammu Frontiers at Paloura on Saturday that the battalion will be commissioned by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on July 25. He said the induction of the woman battalion had been undertaken to increase the participation of the women in maintaining the security of the country and redress the poor participation rates as compared to their male counterparts. The battalion will be posted on the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat, and in West Bengal on the Indo-Bangladesh border, he stated. The battalion will also carry out frisking operations and night patrolling in the border and other areas.

Kumawat said that the deployment of the battalion would be of great help in checking narcotics-related crimes since women were increasingly being used as couriers in trans-border narcotics smuggling, particularly on the Indo-Bangla border. He added that since male BSF personnel were unable to thoroughly frisk women suspects, the female battalion would go a long way in preventing narcotics-related crime.

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