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Women’s security gets a boost

- Second mahila police unit to come up at Chandrasekharpur

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 26: The Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police has planned to bifurcate the existing mahila police station in Bhubaneswar and set up a new unit at Chandrasekharpur to deal effectively with growing number of crimes against women here.

The new unit would not only register cases but also help detect and solve cases faster.

Police commissioner Sunil Roy hinted at this at the annual meeting on crime in January following a series of violent attacks on women. “We are going for another mahila police station in the city to strengthen the mahila police wing and provide a safer environment to women,” said Roy.

In 2012, the only mahila police station in Unit-I registered 502 cases of violence against women in comparison to 233 cases in 2011 and 202 in 2010. The annual crime report of the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police indicated a rise of 55 per cent in rape cases and 78 per cent in domestic violence cases last year.

There was an 81 per cent rise in cases of domestic violence against women in Bhubaneswar, with 288 such cases being registered at the mahila police station. Of these, 176 were dowry torture cases. The number of rape cases registered in 2011 was 35, which rose to 56 in 2012. Officials said cases related to kidnapping, molestation, eve-teasing, homicide and non-dowry torture, involving women, also saw a rise last year.

While the current mahila police station has jurisdiction over women-related issues in 18 other police stations in the Bhubaneswar urban police district, the new unit would have jurisdiction over a portion of the city and its outskirts. The new unit would be turned into a full-fledged police station later on.

“The jurisdiction of the existing mahila police station will be split in two parts. This will ease the pressure off the existing one and help women get better policing,” said deputy commissioner of police Nitinjeet Singh.

Sources said there were four sub-inspectors, two assistant sub-inspectors, nine constables and one inspector sanctioned by the government for the existing mahila police station.

The new unit will initially have five members.

“The new mahila police unit is likely to come up by the end of March,” said an officer.

Besides, a separate assistant commissioner of police (ACP) will be appointed for the mahila police stations. At present, the mahila police station comes under the ACP of sub-division I of the Bhubaneswar urban police district.

Former police officers said a new mahila police station was necessary for the city. “For providing better policing, we need to strengthen the women police stations,” said former director general of police S.N. Tiwary.

Officials said the Centre, in 2009, had asked all states to open at least one mahila police station in each district. However, there are only six mahila police stations in the state, which include one each in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Berhampur and Jeypore.