DEHRADUN: Twenty-two women now form Uttarakhand’s first all-women elite commando force for anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations. On Tuesday, Uttarakhand Police formally inducted the all-women Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), ready for its first deployment at the Mahakumbh in Haridwar.
“Uttarakhand is now the fourth state in the country to have an elite women commando force,” Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said at the induction ceremony at police lines here. The first all-women commando force was Delhi’s ATS SWAT team, inducted in 2018. Earlier this month, Karnataka started training its first batch of all-women Garuda commandos, the state’s own anti-terror force. “This will inspire other women to join the force and serve the country,” the CM added.
Uttarakhand’s all-women ATS squad is the first to be trained in VVIP security “on a par with the National Security Guard“, the elite counter-terrorism unit under the Union ministry of home affairs, the administration said. The squad has been trained in jungle warfare, counter-insurgency, weapon handling, tackling IEDs and in Krav Maga, an Israeli self-defence martial art developed by its defence forces.
“It’s an elite force and its members have been recruited from regular police and PAC battalions who had undergone rigorous training to take on hostage crisis and terror strikes,” said Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar.
On the basis of physical strength, endurance and weapon handling, 27 women commandos were initially selected for the two-week pre-commando training at the Arms Training Centre (ATC) in Haridwar. Of them, 22 women commandos were shortlisted on the basis of their performance in the pre-commando training.
Rajeev Swaroop, DIG of the Police Training Centre (PTC) at Narendra Nagar in Tehri, said, “They are now undergoing two months’ advanced commando training. They have completed the first phase.” Their first major assignment, DGP Kumar added, will be at the Mahakumbh in Haridwar.