Stir brings shortage of women police to the fore

Stir brings shortage of women police to the fore

Activists say male personnel caning women unacceptable

Stir brings shortage of women police to the fore

 The agitation by over a lakh garment workers, mostly by women, on city roads on Monday and Tuesday exposed sorry state of affairs in police dep­artment. Male police officers were seen caning pro­t­e­s­ting women garment fa­c­tory workers. This only goes to show that there is severe shortage of women police personnel in the force.

Senior police officials admit that there is severe shortage of women police staff.
“There is staff shortage, but there is no written rule that only women police personnel should handle agitating women or women offenders. The rule says that women cannot be called to police stations at night, and if they are kept in lockups, women police staff should be deployed for their safety. When there is a law and order situation, one cannot expect only women police to be pressed into action,” said the officer on the condition of anonymity.

According to the sources, not many women are keen to join the force because of safety and family commitments. Of the There are around 80,000 police personnel in Karnataka and women constitute 5.5% (around 3,500) of the force. Bengaluru police has 300 women police officials of various ranks across 200 police stations.

Add to it, most of the women officials are not trained to handle the weapons or wield lathis. They are trained to register complaints, give security, record statements and do counselling among others.

“About 90% of one lakh-plus agitating garment workers were women. So, even if all 300 women were pressed to service, it would still have been impossible to manage the crowd, where mob was pelting stones, burning buses and vehicles, creating havoc on roads. If one speaks of human rights, then what should a male police official do when women attack, should he call control room asking women staff for his protection? When you find women with suicidal tendencies, you will not wait till women officials come and rescue. Men have to act. People should think practically,” the senior official said.

Not acceptable

But women activists are not convinced. Noted lawyer and women rights activist Pramila Nesargi said, “A man cannot arrest a women. It is a rule and it has been violated. No women staff was seen any where on the ground in the last two days.”

Shakun D, a women activist, said, “Shortage of staff cannot be taken as an excuse for beating up women. Why the vacancies in the force are not being filled. It cannot be accepted that women are beaten by men, said Vimala K S, Vice President of Karnataka Janavadi Mahila Sangha State Committee.

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