Faced with an everlasting battle with Maoists, Chhattisgarh police and paramilitary forces have for the first time inducted 30 woman commandos into their fold.
10 out of these 30 commandos are former Maoists who surrendered.
Their squad, which is first in the line of anti-Maoist force, is called "Danteshwari Ladake" or fighters of Goddess Danteshwari.
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The women commandos helped in killing three Maoist commanders
"Danteshwari Ladake" is a first-of-its-kind platoon. It consists of 10 assistant constables who were part of former Salwa Judum (anti-Maoist militia) movement.
The team, trained extensively in jungle combat, will be led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Dineshwari Nand.
And they have already tasted success. These women commandos were part of "short action teams" which eliminated three Maoist commanders last month.
Dantewada SP revealed details about the new platoon
"We have recruited 30 local tribal women and made a separate DRG platoon for women commandos. In Dantewada, there are five male platoons of DRG and this women platoon is the sixth one. The women recruited are surrendered Maoists cadres and wives of surrendered cadres," said SP Dantewada Abhishek Pallava.
During counter-insurgency operations, women commandos come handy
Pallava, who was the one who added this team, said women have always been part of state police and forces. But this is for the first time that they have been tasked with full-fledged operations.
The women stand shoulder-to-shoulder with male DRG members during counter-insurgency operations in the area, Pallava added.
"They are very effective in swift short team action teams," he said.
From patrolling forests to collecting intel, they can do everything
The women commandos were given training for three months. They can patrol dense forests on bikes, read maps, and form ambush strategy.
Since most of them are locals, they can also gel well with villagers and extract important intelligence.
"These commandos will be handy in arrests of women Maoists and reduce risk of complaints of false human right allegations related to women," Pallava added.
Platoon's head aspired for a Maoism-free land
DSP Nand, who is leading the troop, said they are ready to fight Maoists. "We are confident we will hunt them and will bring laurels to Bastar police," Nand added.
Pallava said the existence of such a platoon will send a message to women Maoists. He hopes they will surrender and join forces.
Getting a job in police will help in rehabilitation, Pallava underlined.
We are living a dignified life, said former Maoist
"We are feeling relieved after quitting the Maoist movement. We wanted to marry which was not allowed in the Maoist outfit. We are now living a life with dignity and purpose as police personnel," Gange, a Maoist who surrendered, told PTI.