For the first time in history, the Indian Army has deployed women soldiers for internal security and combat duties near the line of control with Pakistan. Around 30 women soldiers led by Captain Gursimran Kaur of Assam Rifles are deployed in Kashmir. The Captain is known to be a third-generation military officer of her family.
According to the Times of India, the women platoon has been stationed in the Tangdhar sector of North Kashmir. Women were not allowed in combat positions until the recruitment of the first 50 women as soldiers in the Corps of Military Police (CMP) last year. They are currently undergoing training.
The Indian Army has been appointing women in small numbers since the 1990s. But they were only appointed as officers because women are not allowed to join the “fighting arms” of infantry, armored corps, mechanized infantry, and artillery. This is the first time that a women platoon has been posted in areas surrounding the LoC.
As reported by TOI, an officer said, “Deployed at Security checkpoints leading to the LoC, these women are also being used for crowd control and frisking of females because there are intelligence inputs of weapons and drugs being smuggled across.”
As per reports from India.com, women platoon of Assam Rifles will be searching each and every vehicle carrying women passengers which pass through the road going towards the LoC. They have also been asked to keep an eye on the smuggling of narcotics, fake currency, and weapons through Sadhana Pass.
The initiative of deploying women in combat positions has been taken after the Supreme Court, in February, ordered that women will get the same opportunities including ranks, promotions, and pensions reported Livemint. The Court dismissed the government’s arguments and asked to promote equality among men and women Army officers. The Court, however, did not rule on deploying women in combat roles, leaving the decision on the competent authority.