New Delhi, Jan. 3: Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today ordered more women cops in Delhi police stations, the directive in the wake of the bus gang rape buttressing a three-year-old advisory that women should form a third of a state’s force.
The move will mean two women sub-inspectors and seven women constables in every one of the capital’s 166 police stations, according to sources in the ministry. Each police station now has women cops but far less than the desired number.
Women cops comprise around 9 per cent of Delhi police’s over 75,000 personnel, far less than the 33 per cent goal set by the 2009 advisory, sent when P. Chidambaram was in charge. The Centre oversees the police in the capital.
The advisory had also asked states and Union territories to increase women police stations and set up help desks for women and children in each police station. The issue will be flagged again tomorrow at a meeting of state police chiefs and chief secretaries to discuss amendments to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012 and the SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Shinde will address the meet along with minister for women and child development Krishna Tirath and social justice minister Kumari Selja.
The low representation of women in the police — below 10 per cent in much of the country — comes, ironically, with complaints from states that “overburdened existing officers” are a hurdle in properly enforcing laws for women’s protection. The laws include the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2006 and the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
A relative exception from the unsettling trend has been Kerala. Unlike other regions, including Bengal, where police stations often don’t have a single lady cop, the southern state has ensured at least one in its over 460 police stations. That still leaves its ratio below 10 per cent. But Manoj Abrahim, an IG in Kerala, said there was a proposal to recruit 3,000 more women.