NEW DELHI: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police are exploring the option of deploying a Mahila component during encounters with terrorists in the Valley amid a noticeable trend of the ultras fleeing encounter sites in burqas.
To counter the trend, the CRPF is devising ways to keep a women’s contingent on standby at encounter sites to catch terrorists trying to escape by masquerading as burqa-clad women.
The decision was taken recently in a meeting in Srinagar attended by officials from the CRPF, the Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, and the Army.
“The Security Advisor of the Unified Command directed that the possibility of recruiting locals as Mahila Police or the feasibility of deploying a Mahila company of CRPF from elsewhere may be explored,” a Union Home Ministry official said.
The CRPF has six Mahila Battalions (6,000 personnel), and some of them may be imparted pre-induction training to handle counterterrorist operations in the Valley, a CRPF official said.
Encounters between the security forces and the terrorists are typically accompanied by protests by the locals, and the terrorists often take advantage of the situation to escape.
The security forces refrain from intercepting suspected terrorists wearing a burqa in order to avoid escalating the situation further.