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'Male bastion' falls as India's first female SWAT team starts work

8/13/2018 11:33:34 AMVisitors: 649

<p>After more than a year of being put through their paces - learning to scale buildings, defuse bombs and rescue hostages - <strong>India&rsquo;s first all-female commando team started work on Aug 10 2018,</strong> breaking a traditionally male bastion.</p> <p>The <strong>36 women </strong>underwent <strong>15 months of rigorous training</strong> in <strong>weapons handling, counter-terrorism and Krav Maga</strong> - the military self-defence technique <strong>pioneered by Israel&rsquo;s security forces</strong> - to enter the Special Weapons and Tactics (<strong>SWAT</strong>) team.</p> <p>They will work alongside about five all-male commando teams in the Indian capital, said Pramod Kushwaha, a senior Delhi police official.</p> <p>&ldquo;People often have this kind of misconception that women cannot do this or women cannot do that, but I can say very proudly that these women are on par and at times better than the male commandos.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>India&rsquo;s police force</strong> is overwhelmingly male with official data showing just over <strong>7 percent of all officers are women, well below a government target of 33 percent.</strong></p> <p>All the women officers in the new team are from India&rsquo;s northeast, a region that is battling with numerous separatist insurgencies and is seen as a neglected corner of the country.</p> <p>Kushwaha said women from the region were &ldquo;much better at certain skills&rdquo; and &ldquo;sturdier also&rdquo;.</p> <p>The new team will be part of the security operation when <strong>Prime Minister Narendra Modi</strong> delivers his annual Independence Day address from the ramparts of the <strong>17th-century Red Fort in Delhi on Aug. 15.</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;We are very confident that these women are fully competent and there is no reason why they should not be given the high-profile task,&rdquo; Kushwaha said.</p> <p>&ldquo;They know how to fire all weapons, they can intervene (in) any terror situation or hostage situation, be it at homes or public places like malls and markets - anything, anywhere.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s amazing because some of the best male commandos cannot do what these women can do.&rdquo;</p>

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