Chandigarh, June 7
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) has introduced heli-borne slithering operations for its women personnel under commando training. The first such batch demonstrated their newly acquired skill at the force’s Basic Training Centre (BTC) in Bhanu near here today.
Slithering is a tactic used for rapid induction and deployment of troops during operations in remote areas or difficult terrain by means of sliding down a rope fixed to a helicopter hovering several metres above the ground.
“This is for the first time that women personnel have been trained in slithering operations as part of their pre-promotion course,” said Ishwar Singh Duhan, Inspector-General, BTC. “This will not only aid rapid insertion of women personnel in border areas as and when required, but also enable their deployment during disaster management tasks where women-related tasks need to be undertaken,” he added.
The women personnel are subordinate officers of the rank of sub-inspector, who are part of the 3rd Commando Course for women training, alongside the 20th Commando Course for male personnel. Slithering operations have been part of training for male personnel for many years.
While women constables have been part of the ITBP, which guards the Himalayan frontier with China, for about a decade, women at the subordinate-level began entering the force four years ago. It was only last year that the ITBP inducted its first two direct entry women officers at the level of assistant commandant.
According to ITBP sources, the total strength of women constables in the ITBP is about 2,400, while that of subordinate officers is over 100. About 20 per cent of aspirants for direct entry subordinate officers in recent batches are now women.
Recently, the ITBP also opened up other trades to women constables that were heretofore the domain of males. For the first time, women have also been recruited as dog handlers, cooks, gardeners, tailors, water carriers, cleaners and even a cobbler.
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