The Indian Army has finalised a plan to induct women in the military police, a senior officer said on Friday. A step towards breaking gender barriers in the force, the plan is to induct 800 women in the military police, taking in 52 personnel a year, Adjuntant General of the Army, Lieutenant General Ashwani Kumar said.

Currently, women are allowed only in select wings of the Army, such as medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering.

In June, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat (pictured above) had told PTI the Army was looking at inducting women jawans and the process would start with the induction of women in the military police corps.

Lieutenant General Kumar said the decision would also help investigate allegations of gender-specific crimes.

The announcement comes a day after Nirmala Sitharaman became only the second woman to take charge of India’s Defence Ministry after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Role of the military police corps

The military police personnel look after cantonments and army establishments, prevent breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintain movement of soldiers during peace and war, handle prisoners of war and help the police force when required.