Only 447 women police personnel serve in anti-terror squads, 2,502 in crime branch and another 2,324 in special branches. The latest government data once again point that women in khaki continue to face discrimination at work place when it comes to getting challenging assignments.
Of the 74,651 personnel working in special units dealing with anti-terror and organised crime, crime branch or criminal investigation department (CID) and Special Branch in state police forces, only 7.06% or 5,273 are women as on 1 January, 2018.
Altogether, women account for 8.73% or 1.69 lakh in a force of 19.41 lakh. Women's numbers have risen over the years (1.40 lakh in 2016 and 1.22 lakh in 2015) but there is a long way to touch the ideal traget of 33% set by successive governments.
Maharashtra (1,348), Uttar Pradesh (659) and Karnataka (300) top the list of states where more women are deployed for roles in anti-terror, crime branch and special branch teams. Karnataka has the highest number of women personnel in anti-terror units (204 out of 447 women personnel).
However, the recently released data on Police Organisations 2018 by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) showed no single woman heads any such force in the rank of Director General or Additional Director General.
This reiterates the findings of a five-year-old survey conducted during the National Conference of Women in Police in Guwahati when senior women police officials minced no words when they were denied important posting just because of their gender and BPRD's own repeated assertions in its reports on police data.
The most dismal figures are in anti-terror forces as only 447 women are posted in such jobs in 2017 as against an actual strength of 27,358 personnel. However, the 2017 figure showed that there was a 65.55% increase when compared to the figure of 2016 when police forces had just 270 such personnel.
There is no other state is close to Karnataka when it comes to deploying women in anti-terror units as the state that came second, Delhi, had just 56 women followed by West Bengal (47), Gujarat (26) and Manipur (25).
In Crime Branches, 2,502 women were deployed in 2017 as against 1,079 in the previous year with Maharashtra topping the list with 1,244 women personnel, followed by Tamil Nadu (164), Rajasthan (116) and Delhi (90). Karnataka had 45 women in Crime Branch.
Special Branch units of states dealing with intelligence had 2,324 women as against 2,574 in 2016. Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of women with 576 followed by Punjab (183) and Nagaland (166) while Karnataka had 51 women personnel in Special Branch.
"It is essential that women are visible at the cutting-edge level of public interface. There is a tendency to engage women police only in situations like security checks and other specialized duties relating to women, but unless they are assigned main stream duties in the police stations, there would not be adequate impact on the community," the report said.
Earlier in 2014, a survey conducted among women police personnel, who were delegates at the 2014 National Conference of Women in Police, stated that women in lower ranks are satisfied with the work assigned to them but as they move up the ladder, they feel they are given less important posts “just because they are women”.
"Twenty-seven percent participants felt that in some case they are assigned less important post or duties just because of their gender…most of the senior women police officers have this feeling…that their professionalism is not considered," the report said.