Constables of Bihar Military Police’s women’s battalion would soon rub shoulders with their male counterparts on riot-control assignments.
The force has 580 members in its first battalion. Of them, 96 are being trained in riot control. The constables have already undergone three months’ training in Bihar from January. Soon, they would be sent to Jharkhand for a specialised round of training. Officials said it would be sometime next month.
This would be the first time women constables would be assigned riot-control duty.
On the training module, Baban Ram, subedar, BMP, women’s battalion, said: “The first women’s battalion members have been taught how to wield batons in various techniques so that they can protect themselves during a riot and a mob. They have been trained on when to use force and when to react calmly and when to use tear gas, water cannon or pepper spray. The constables would soon be sent for a month’s training in Jharkhand.”
Life has completely changed for those selected for the job. The members said their level of confidence has gone up by several notches after the three-month training from January in Bihar. The month’s training in Jharkhand was deferred because of the general election from April.
Sipu Kumari (22) said: “We have gained a lot of confidence on the measures to be taken to control a riot. Now, if I am assigned duty in 100 riots, I am sure to give my best in at least 98 of them.”
She added: “I come from a family where there is no culture of women leaving home for work. My father owns around eight bighas in Bhagalpur and my mother is a homemaker. Today, my life has changed. I don’t have to look to my father for my expenses. I get around Rs 18,000 a month and can help my father run the family.”
The state’s first woman battalion under the BMP was formed on January 17 last year.