Olympic medal winner-in-waiting Lovlina Borgohain apparently isn’t the only one from Assam throwing winning punches. Two women officers of the state cadre have struck a blow for “nari shakti” by showing nerves of steel to stamp their presence on a ring presumed to be the preserve of battle-hardened male officers.
Cachar DC Keerthi Jalli and her IPS batchmate of 2013, district SP Ramandeep Kaur, have come in for praise from various quarters for their deft handling of the volatile situation on the Assam-Mizoram border since the July 26 firing in which six police officers from the state were killed.
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has compared the duo to Goddess Durga. “I have complete trust on them and women can do the job better than anyone else…woman is another form of Devi Durga,” he said. While Jalli has been the DC of Cachar for some time, Kaur was the police chief of Hailakandi district, which also shares the border with Mizoram, until the day violence erupted.
“On July 26, after six of our men were killed and the SP of Cachar was injured in the firing, I received a call to rush to Lailapur (Cachar district). As soon as I got there, I was tasked with evacuating all the slain policemen and injured personnel,” Kaur said.
Kaur and her batchmate find the plaudits being showered on them a departure from what civil servants usually get. “What the honourable CM has said about nari shakti, it is huge compliment, and we feel proud that he has reposed his trust on us,” Jalli said. Every day since the violence started, they get into a bulletproof vehicle and patrol the border that stands beyond a reserve forest at the heart of the dispute. “The day never ends,” Kaur said, describing how both would stay well past midnight deep inside the forest.