With women breaking the glass ceiling in varied fields, India’s largest paramilitary force Central Reserve Police Force has promoted two lady officers to the rank of Inspector General for the first time since its inception 35 years ago.
The two officers are Annie Abraham and Seema Dhundia both of whom were inducted in CRPF in 1987. CRPF was also the first Central Armed Police Force to induct women in combat in 1986.
As per the orders issued by CRPF headquarters, Abraham has been appointed as the IG of Rapid Action Force and Dhundia as IG of the Bihar Sector.
This is the first time that the RAF will be headed by a woman IG. The 15 battalion-strong RAF is deployed for counter-protests, sensitive law and order duties and anti-riots in various parts of the country. It also assists the State police forces in crowd management and VIP visits.
Dhundia who was actively involved in raising the second Mahila Battalion of CRPF was also the contingent commander of the first ever all-women Formed Police Unit in the UN Mission in Liberia. Incidentally, she was also a DIG in the RAF.
Talking to NDTV, Abraham said: “We joined CRPF in 1986 and were inducted a year later. Since then, we have seen many difficult situations.”
Recalling her first posting after training in Ayodhya she said: “Those were initial days when the skirmishes had just started, but we learnt a lot.”
Interestingly the two officers commanded an all-women Indian police contingent at the UN besides being awarded the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service, Police Medal for Meritorious Service and the Ati Utkrisht Sewa Padak.
Dhundia told the media that she would like to play a mentor’s role and make the troops professionals while creating a conducive environment for more women to join it.