The Chhattisgarh police have raised the states first women police band in Naxal-hit Bastar district, giving an opportunity to women personnel in the unit generally dominated by men, an official said on Wednesday. The band, which has 16 trained members, including nine women, will soon be converted into an all-women police band, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said. The newly raised band performed for the first time before Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on January 26 during his visit to Jagdalpur, he said. Initially, the band has been trained to play 12 patriotic songs, which they will perform on special occasions like VIP visits, parades and government programmes, he said. Women security personnel are being given equal opportunity in every activity, including anti-Naxal operations, in the Bastar division, the IG said. The step to form an exclusive women police band is a step towards this direction, he said. Generally, women police personnel are given law and order maintenance duties, while the police band and ceremonial guard are perceived as a male bastion, the official said. But, in the last couple of years, women commandos in the Bastar region have proved this perception wrong by actively taking part in counter-insurgency operations and showing results, he said. In 2019, the Chhattisgarh police raised a squad of women District Reserve Guard (DRG) commandos, named as Danteshwari Ladake, in Dantewada district of the Bastar region to fight against Naxals. We want our women colleagues to perform better on the field without any discrimination. Therefore, now they are being given an opportunity in police bands, ceremonial guard of honour and other ceremonial activities, the official said. The idea of a womens police band was conceptualised last year when five-six members of the band retired. We then thought about it, and when women personnel showed interest, their training was started, the IG said. As of now, the band has 16 members, of whom nine are women constables. More women personnel are being trained and they will soon join to make it an all-women police band, he said.