Women CRPF soldiers recall Pulwama attack, anger rages

WION Srinagar Mar 08, 2019, 01.32 PM(IST) Written By: Ieshan Bashir Wani

Women soldiers of CRPF ready to be deployed. Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

Their challenges have only heightened after Pulwama attack.

The deadly attack on a convoy of India's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which claimed 40 lives in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, made headlines but there are some unsung heroes - the women soldier of CRPF - who witnessed the blast from close quarters.

Among them is Assistant Sub-Inspector Vrinda Sonkwar. Vrinda, along with 29 other women, was part of bus number three in the 78-vehicle CRPF convoy. She had a miraculous escape because the bus which was destroyed in the attack went ahead and took their position.

Vrinda breaks down every time she remembers the horrific scene but she has no time to cry. Guarding a post office in Srinagar and armed with an AK-47 rifle, she is frisking women who enter the premises.

"We are here to serve the nation. When the attack took place, we took our positions inside the bus and some were outside as well. Some people who died in the attack were my colleagues, I was very angry at that time," she said.

These daredevil women cops are deployed at several key locations in the volatile Kashmir valley to maintain peace. Many of them are deployed not just to deal with law and order issues, but also to thwart any attempt by Pakistan-backed terrorists to derail peace in the Valley.

Their challenges have only heightened after Pulwama attack.

women-soldier-crpf

These soldiers say they want to avenge Pulwama attack, but are duty bound. (WION)

But the attack hasn't lowered their morale; in fact, some of them say their parents and family feel proud of them for working in Kashmir. At CRPF Bemina camp, they are standing in a queue for their routine deployment. Holding their weapons and assault rifles, they move with the loud command of their officer.

"My father wanted to join the army but he couldn't. He feels proud that I am in the CRPF. My father boosted my morale and said keep doing your job," said Pallavi, one of the CRPF personel who is ready to be deployed.

Bishnu Thamai is stationed at Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar, she has to frisk every incoming disciple before letting them inside a sensitive temple located on top of a hillock overlooking the city of Srinagar.

"We are even ready to fight in the war if given orders. We are angry over the martyrdom of our colleagues but we are also duty-bound. We are trained well to deal with any situation," says Thamai, as she looks on.

These women soldiers want to avenge the killing of their colleagues if given an opportunity. But for now, their focus is on keeping the Kashmir valley safe. They are out once again, ready to be deployed at key locations to deal with any situation which may arise. Holding their riot gear and guns, they are ready to tackle any mob.