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Assam Rifles back in J&K after 20 years—this time with women jawans

Currently, the women soldiers are undertaking all counter-insurgency tasks

PTI8_20_2018_000144A Representational image | PTI

After around two decades, two battalions of Assam Rifles have been engaged in Jammu and Kashmir’s counter-insurgency operations. Assam Rifles is adept at managing borders and tackling insurgency, and trained in jungle warfare.

In a recent exclusive interview with THE WEEK, Director of Assam Rifles Lt Gen P.C. Nair said, “It will be a give-and-take experience for our jawans. While we will, like before, share our experience on jungle warfare and engaging in tough situations, our force will also have a learning experience.

“Our troops, whenever asked, have proved significantly that they are not only northeast centric. We replicate some of the good operational experiences and always cater to any future challenges,” he had said.

Interestingly, each battalion will have around 20 women jawans, who would be employed in counter-insurgency duties as well.

The Assam Rifles were in Jammu and Kashmir 20 years ago, too, where they conducted one of the most successful operations which is a record.

“That operation was done by 7 Assam Rifles and a record number of arms and ammunition were recovered and terrorists neutralised in one single operation in May 1991. Wherever we have gone, including Sri Lanka and J&K, our troops have proved their mettle,” Gen Nair had said.

Currently, the women soldiers are undertaking all counter-insurgency tasks that include frisking of women, patrolling, search operations, Mobile Vehicle Check Posts, among other things.

“Our women are doing an exemplary role in operations there. In fact, there are more demands of our women soldiers in Kashmir,” Nair had said.

Recently, as part of the focus on the northern border, a number of infantry divisions had been withdrawn from the northeast, which would apparently soon be filled up by more battalions of Assam Rifles. In its recent issue, THE WEEK explores how China might have orchestrated Myanmar coup to push drugs, arms, terrorists into northeast.

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