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'Male bastion' falls as first female SWAT team ready

'Male bastion' falls as first female SWAT team ready


Thomson Reuters Foundation
NEW DELHI
After more than a year of being put through their paces - learning to scale buildings, defuse bombs and rescue hostages - India's first all-female commando team started work on Friday, breaking a traditionally male bastion.
The 36 women underwent 15 months of rigorous training in weapons handling, counter-terrorism and Krav Maga - the military self-defence technique pioneered by Israel's security forces - to enter the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.
They will work alongside about five all-male commando teams in the Indian capital, said Pramod Kushwaha, a senior Delhi police official.
"These women have broken into a male bastion,"he said.
"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."
India's police force is overwhelmingly male with official data showing just over 7 percent of all officers are women, well below a government target of 33 percent.
All the women officers in the new team are from India's northeast, a region that is battling with numerous separatist insurgencies and is seen as a neglected corner of the country.

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