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Women to join BSF combat duties by July-end

NEW DELHI: The first women battalion of about 1,000 personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) will be inducted for combat duties by this month-end.

The women, who are now undergoing training at the BSF establishment in Khatka, Punjab, will participate in the passing-out parade on July 29, to be attended by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram. “It will be a proud day for us when women will work shoulder to shoulder with men,” BSF Director-General M.L. Kumawat told PTI.

These personnel have been trained in weapon handling, intelligence, border management, sports, unarmed combat, frisking and guarding duties. The women, along with their male counterparts, will carry out searches and frisking at checkpoints and immigration points and on trade routes along the borders. “The women component is needed for the force, as our duty of guarding borders involves frisking women travellers, besides other relevant duties,” he said.

The first batch will be deployed in the Punjab sector.

The newly trained personnel will be inducted as constables.

The women’s battalion will be part of the 29 battalions sanctioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the BSF as part of its expansion plan. Around 35,000 personnel will be inducted by the paramilitary force for these 29 battalions in the next four years.

“Around 10,000 personnel are being recruited by the BSF this year, and they will be ready for deployment by March 2010,” he said. — PTI

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