For nearly three months, from dusk to dawn, Rita Devi has followed a similar drill.
Her day begins with physical training, followed by classes on border management and on collaborating with police and border guards in the event of skirmishes along the frontier between India and Pakistan. Toward evening, she receives training in weapon handling and law and order.
Devi, along with 73 other young men and women, is working hard to become a “special police officer” to assist law enforcement officers in dozens of mountain villages in the frontier district of Kathua in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Pakistan also controls part of Kashmir, which is claimed by both countries.
Devi said she always wanted to join the police. “This position will allow me to help people,” she said.
Special police officers are lower-ranked police officials who are mainly recruited for intelligence gathering and counterinsurgency operations. In recent years, the force has assisted in border areas as well because of...