The Millennium City of India, Gurgaon, got it’s own all-women police station to deal with all the crimes that happen against women. The two-storey Police station, used to be the office of the traffic police till few days back, but now it plays host to Haryana’s first all-women police station.
Situated is Sector 51 of the bustling city of Gurgaon, the police station has been given a fresh look, even as its basic necessities like lights, fans and phone lines are currently being taken care off.
Even if they don’t have all the facilities yet, women police officers have already started work while waiting for curtains, computers, stationery and water-coolers. BBC conducted an interview with the women cops. Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk herself picked 27 female cops for this station and calls the place as ‘one -stop-all stop” for all the women. Navdeep told BBC
“We have identified the personnel – the 27-member police team will be headed by an inspector. We will have workers from non-governmental organisations and counsellors and we will provide legal assistance and help with rehabilitation too. A 50-member contingent of anti-riot policewomen will also be based there and used in law and order situations.”
For the lead position at the station, Navdeep chose Inspector Umesh Bala who has some impressive credentials under her name.
She has been a police woman for 30 years and has deep understanding of dealing with all the crimes against women. In the past she has supervised a telephone helpline network that was started by the police to help women in distress. Talking about this new role, Bala said :
“Most of the complaints we receive here from women are about sexual harassment and stalking. The accused men often tell me ‘she was my friend’. And I tell them ‘but now she is not, so lay off. She is not your personal property”
While Gurgaon now plays host to many corporate offices, call centres and outsourcing companies, the city is notorious for its high rate of crimes against women. The all-women police station has, therefore, its work cut out for them. Haryana, as a state, also doesn’t holds a good reputation on societal parameters. It is still steeped in patriarchy and has the worst sex ratio in the country. It is high on the list of crimes against women and there are also areas deeply involved in human trafficking
and gender discrimination. While the all-women police station is a great idea, Haryana Police currently has another problem to deal with. There is huge shortage of women police officers in Gurgaon.
There are only 350 women police in the city while they need need at least 1,000 according to the Police commissioner.
How this city in a state infamous for gender discrimination manages things with such a police station will make for an interesting case study in administration.