Only one woman cop for 15k people in India

India on 12 September 2013
Location : New Delhi, India | Source : Times of India. Image Source: Flickr User Edson Walker

NEW DELHI: There is only one policewoman for every 15,000 Indians, bringing to focus the lack of sensitive policing in the country. With a population of 1.27 billion, India has a mere 84,479 women police personnel in a 1,585,117-strong police force. Women make up only 5.33% of the country's police, an anomaly highlighted by the Justice J S Verma committee report in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya gang-rape. 

Home ministry data for 2012 shows that the lowest ratio of women police is in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. These states have less than 3% women personnel in their police force. Delhi has 7.13% women in a total strength of 75,169 police personnel. Maharashtra has the maximum number of women cops with almost 15% or 20,062 women out of a total of 1,34,696. 

There are only 499 all-women police stations in the country. 

Justice Verma's report had recommended an increase in police presence on the street. "It is especially important that the number of female police personnel on patrol and on duty in police stations is increased; so that females feel comfortable in complaining of sexual harassment or threats of a sexual nature to any member of the police." 

The view was echoed by a parliamentary committee on "empowerment of women'' that recommended that representation of women should be increased to 33%. 

The presence of women in central police forces is equally discouraging. Of 15,071 women in central forces, the highest 5,414 or 35.9% are with Central Reserve Police Force followed by 4,815 or 31.9% in Central Industrial Security Force. This is followed by 1,517 in Border Security Force and 1,289 in Railway Protection Force. Sashastra Seema Bal has 1,126 women while Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Assam Rifles have 780 and 89 respectively. The lowest ratio of women is in the National Security Guard with 41. 

But it is not all bad news. At least four states -- Maharashtra, Sikkim, Rajasthan and Odisha -- have introduced reservation of 30% or more to increase the proportion of women. While Tamil Nadu has a woman police station in every sub-division, Himachal Pradesh has recently set up an all-women inter-reserve battalion. Bihar has decided to provide 35% reservation. 

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