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J&K govt to raise women police battalion to deal with stone pelters

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-04-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Around 1,000 women will be hired in Jammu and Kashmir for a police battalion, which will primarily deal with incidents like stone pelting in the Valley.

The move comes days after girl students were seen fighting pitched battles with security forces at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar on 24 April, the day the educational institutions in the restive valley reopened after a five-day shutdown.

The policewomen will be part of the five India Reserved Battalions (IRBs), the central government has already sanctioned. As many as 1,40,000 youths in Jammu and Kashmir have applied for 5,000 posts in the five IRBs to be raised in the state.

The process of recruitment in the five IRBs has started and authorities have received around 1,40,000 applications, 40% of which are from the Kashmir valley.

The women battalion will primarily deal with incidents like stone pelting in the Kashmir valley and other law and order duties, a home ministry official said. The response to the police battalions is very encouraging as there are nearly 30 applicants against one post, the official said.

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The issue was discussed on Thursday at a high-level meeting chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh on Rs80,000 crore development package announced for Jammu and Kashmir by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.

The IRBs are being raised with an aim to provide jobs to the local youths and 60% of vacancies in the new battalions will be filled from the border districts of the state.

The cost of raising each battalion is around Rs61 crore and 75% of it will be provided by the central government. Personnel of India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) are normally deployed in their respective states but they can be deployed in other states too if there is a requirement.

At present, there are 144 India Reserve Battalions in various states. In addition, four IRBs each are being raised in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 12 in Maoist-hit states besides the five battalions in Jammu and Kashmir.

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