For the first time apart from the male contingent, women commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force will guard the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Gandhi family.
The VVIPs including- Shah, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Manmohan Singh are all Z-plus protectees of CRPF. A senior CRPF officer said that our first batch of women commandos comprising 32 female combatants has completed its training in VIP security, and will be ready for deployment by January 15. “We have decided to detail them with our Z plus protectees,” the officer added.
“Initially 6 platoons of women personnel will be raised,” a communication accessed by News18 said. The deployment would be done on a ‘need basis’ but few dignitaries will get women personnel from the first batch, sources said. Also, women VVIPs would also be on priority in view of the upcoming poll season. These women CRPF personnel will also get training to fire assault rifles such as AK-47s. Given the small size of the contingent, these women commandos will be initially deployed at the residence of the protectees.
The officer further said that since there are only 32 female combatants, each protectee will get only five or six women commandos. “It will be difficult to deploy them for proximate security when there is movement given the small size of the contingent at this time. However, if required they can be attached to the women protectees during election rallies,” the officer said.
This comes ahead of five state elections- Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa, in early 2022. The women commandos will be given proximate security duties in the future as more women join the VIP security wing of the force, the officer added.
Gandhi’s and Singh were stripped of Special Protection Group (SPG) security in November 2019 following which they were provided Z plus cover of the CRPF. In 2012, the National Security Guard (NSG), which is the premier counter-terror force in the country that also provides VIP security, had similarly raised a 25-member female contingent for VIP security. They were deployed to protect Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham chief J Jayalalithaa.