The Mahila Thana that will be merged with the social police stations once they come up
Ranchi, Sept: 18: Jharkhand police plans to set up “social police stations” in every district to curb atrocities against women and children.
A proposal to establish such police stations, in line with SC/ST Thana in Ranchi, has been sent to the home department and the police headquarters expect a formal nod soon.
These police stations, expected to be functioning within six months, will deal with cases concerning human trafficking, eve-teasing, molestation, rape, witch-hunt, besides domestic violence and child abuse.
Asked about all-women police stations that dealt with atrocities against the fair sex, state police spokesperson and additional director-general (law and order) S.N. Pradhan said: “Once the social police stations come up, the mahila thanas will be merged with it.”
The decision to start these unique police stations was taken in the backdrop of the Union government’s plan to establish an anti-human trafficking unit in each district of the state. “We have decided to take a step further and tackle other anti-social behaviour as well through these units (thanas),” Pradhan said.
Unfortunately, killing women by branding them as witches is a fairly regular practice in Jharkhand. According to Association for Social and Health Awareness (ASHA), an NGO working to eliminate witch-hunting, 1,240 women were killed in this manner in the state from 1990 to March 2013.
The state is also faced with the problem of trafficking as girls, migrating to cities in search of jobs, fall prey to abuse of all kind.
Former chairperson of State Women’s Commission Hemlata S. Mohan described the idea of social police stations as a correct step to help women’s empowerment.
“Since I joined office in August 2010, I have been making this demand in several seminars and programmes where top police officers were present. Finally, it’s going to become a reality,” she said.
Social police stations would be on the lines of the SC/ST police station, which lodges cases related only to atrocities suffered by members of the community.
Though the IPC sections would be same, these police stations would be special since it would follow a single window system. Only women and child related cases would be registered and police personnel would devote all their time to these cases.
In addition to the men and women in uniform, sources said there would be NGO volunteers and psychologists to provide counselling to victims. The social thanas will also ensure their rehabilitation.
A police officer Kotwali welcomed the concept. “Such crimes are sensitive and need to be handled properly as the accused here are usually not habitual offenders. They are mostly related to the victims and commit the crime due to psychological reasons, which is quite difficult for policemen, who are only familiar with CrPC and IPC,” he said.
Once ready, Pradhan said, the social police stations would also reduce the burden on general thanas. “Around 4,500 cases of different nature are reported at police stations across the state. Of these, around 30 per cent deal with women and children. This burden will be passed on to the new thanas,” he explained.