INDIA: CRPF's Women Contigent to Leave for Liberia

Monday, February 8, 2010
Times Now
Western Africa
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

A women contingent of the CRPF will leave for civil war stricken Liberia tonight as part of the United Nations Peace Keeping assignment. The fourth women contingent to be sent to Liberia by the largest paramilitary force in the country comprises 106 women personnel besides 19 male officers and others. They will leave by a special UN aircraft at a time when Liberia is expected to elect a new government this year after experiencing years of civil war.

The officers and women have been trained in advanced unarmed combat tactics, crowd and mob control, modern sophisticated weapons, counter insurgency operations, disaster management, international policing with special emphasis on community policing among others. A Female Formed Police Unit (FFPU) of the country was first deployed in Liberia in 2007.

During the period, the women personnel, most of whom were mothers and usually aged between 27-40 years, have performed numerous law and order duties in the West African country, including guarding the Liberian President's House. Incidentally, 80 per cent of the 106 women personnel are mothers in this contingent and this is the first time that the constables have been trained to fire 9 mm pistol, a side arm. Many officers and women in contingent have experience in tackling terrorism, Naxalism and extremism in the country and some of them had served in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping force.

Addressing the women personnel here today, force's chief Vikram Srivastava stressed that they represented not only the CRPF but also the country. He said their families were a primary concern for all and the force would look after them as the contingent will be in Liberia for a year. India is one of the few countries in the world having an all-women fighting force armed with sophisticated weapons with expertise in crowd control techniques, counter insurgency and civil unrest.