In a significant move viewed as a major step towards breaking the gender barriers in the armed force, the Army has finalised a plan to induct women in the military police.
The role of the military police includes policing cantonments and army establishments, preventing breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war, handling prisoners of war, and extending aid to civil police whenever required.
Adjutant General of the Army Lt. Gen. Ashwani Kumar said on Friday that the Army planned to induct about 800 women in the military police with a yearly intake of 52 personnel.
Lt. Gen. Kumar said the decision to induct women in the Corps of the Military Police was taken keeping in view the "increasing needs for investigation against gender-specific allegations and crime."
The announcement is seen as a step towards the entry of women in combat roles since Nirmala Sitharaman took over as the country’s first full-time woman defence minister.
"We have finalised the proposal of inducting women in the military police," Lt. Gen. Kumar told reporters.
Currently, women are allowed in select areas such as the medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the Army.
The process of induction is likely to start next year.