Punjab police turn to women for snooping

For the first time, lawmen in the state will depend on the young and energetic women for information gathering to maintain internal security. They will also be involved in undercover security operations.

The 15, many of whom are post-graduates, completed their year-long rigorous training module last week, and are now being assigned various intelligence duties across the state. “There’s more to cheer about,” VK Bhawara, Inspector General of Police, Punjab Intelligence, told Deccan Herald, pointing to the fact that the all-round best trophy in the training was bagged by a woman, out of the 53—including the 15 chosen for intelligence—who passed out on Tuesday.

Twenty-four-year-old Amarjit Kaur, a science graduate, topped among both men and women. Her meritorious achievement got her the honour to be the parade commander.
The second trophy for the best indoor cadet, an award given for outstanding performance in academics during the course, also went to a woman, Amandeep Kaur.
“Intelligence cadre was always restricted to men whenever entries were invited. This is the first time women are allowed. I’m sure they would perform well. Their training is designed keeping in mind the dynamics of internal security,”  said Bhawara.

The women come from various disciplines like information technology, humanities, education and computer application.

Amarjit Kaur, the topper, told Deccan Herald on Friday that her task would be more than routine policing duties.

“My father retired from the Army and always wanted that I should be some way or the other involved in serving the nation. We are now trained in specialised surveillance, even spy tasks where we will be required to maintain a camouflaged identity,” she said.

Runner-up Amandeep Kaur, an MSc in IT, hopes her task will be a fulfilling one. “I topped my district in computer application degree. I was first in the list of selected candidates for the post. It's a challenging task for us,” she told Deccan Herald over the phone.

While this could be a new beginning for Punjabi women, several countries  have recruited women in intelligence gathering.

An official said women represent 38 per cent of total intelligence work force in the US and in six of the most prominent agencies, 27 per cent of senior intelligence positions are held by women.

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