All-women patrolling squad to get back into action

All-women patrolling squad to get back into action

An all-women police squad is set to be launched in the city’s west police division.

The novel idea of the women constabulary force — called the Obbava Squad — was enforced on a pilot basis in April.

The 10-member squad led by a woman sub-inspector kickstarted at the Upparpet station and has been working actively in the busy Majestic area, covering the Kempegowda bus terminal areas, City railway station and metro stations. However, the squad could not effectively function in May due to the election duties allotted to the officers.

The Obbava squad staff carry a cane and are clad in camouflage trousers, cap and a black T-shirt with ‘police’ written on it. They will ensure that no woman is eve-teased or her modesty outraged, a senior police officer said.

“We have been getting an increased number of complaints from women, including college students who are victims of eve-teasing and catcalls, on a frequent basis. We, thus, planned to form a women’s team to exclusively address this,” said a woman police officer, who is a part of the squad.

“Besides, we have women constables who will patrol in mufti, including modern outfits, to check if they are catcalled,” she said. With this exercise, anti-social elements indulging in such acts will fear that the woman they target could be a policewoman, she added.

Two reasons behind the menace of eve-teasing and catcalling in the Majestic areas are prostitution and street hawkers, especially in the subway area. The Obbava squad will keep a hawk’s eye on customers who solicit every woman they spot or pass by these areas, the officer said. The police are confident they can make even the Majestic area similar to MG Road, Brigade Road, Indiranagar and Koramangala, where women feel comfortable in their surroundings, the officer added.

The Obbava squad will be launched on May 28 by the city police commissioner and the police believe it will be a success story, following which it will be extended to other police stations.