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All-women police stations non-existent in most police stations

India on 26 March 2015
Location : New Delhi | Source : Times of India. Image Source: Times of India

The Narendra Modi government last week approved 33% reservation for women in police forces of all union territories, including Delhi, citing difficulties faced by women complainants to approach the male-dominated police force. However, most union territories, including Delhi, do not even have a single women's police station even though the country has 518 of them. 

According to data collected by Bureau of Police Research and Development, four states and five union territories have no women police stations. These include Maharashtra, Mizoram, Sikkim and Nagaland among the states while Delhi, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar and Daman and Diu among the union territories. Dadra and Nagar Haveli with one women's police station and Puducherry with three are the face-savers in the UT category. 

Even Bihar and UP with 40 and 71 such police stations respectively do better than most states and union territories in ensuring women have it easy while approaching police. Tamil Nadu with 199 such police stations sets an example. 

Though Delhi police claims that Maurice Nagar and South Campus police stations are women's police stations, they do not figure on the list as they have only women personnel in majority. In fact, the effort to turn Maurice Nagar police station into an all-women police station had begun way back in 2004 but was scuttled by those within the city police. The idea gained momentum after the December 16 Nirbhaya gang-rape. 

A home ministry official told TOI, "The problem is that in most union territories, including Delhi, we have not reached the critical strength where we can have adequate women personnel in all police stations and still spare some for all-women police stations. We hope with 33% reservation for women approved, we will soon be able to implement this as well." 

The officer said the ministry keeps sending advisories to states to set up women police stations but it is up to them to follow it. 

Announcing the approval for 33% reservation of women in UT police forces, the Centre had said the decision aimed to help augment "the representation of women in police forces...so as to make the police more gender sensitive...It will also instill confidence among women to enable them to approach the police without hesitation for seeking protection and assistance as and when required." 

It said, "It has been observed that many women do not approach the police, as they may have to confide or report the incident to a male police officer. This is particularly so in sex-related crimes. A skewed police force with inadequate gender representation is a major practical barrier in effective implementation of legislation intended for the protection of women."

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