‘Don’t feel safe in police stations, need more women cops for company, strength’

In what probably comes as a bitter truth, a Haryana Police woman constable, during an interactive session on the last day of The Third National Conference of Women in Police, stood up to claim that women in the police force do not find themselves safe in the presence of their male counterparts, leave alone the common women.

Special Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Raman Srivastava, who was present on the occasion, agreed to some of the several recommendations in principle such as the one to hold a national conference every two years, state and central police level conferences for women in police annually and the inclusion of 'women in police' as a prominent agenda in the National Police Mission.

"What to speak of women in general, we ourselves do not feel safe in police stations in the company of our male counterparts. So, I suggest that the number of women in the police force be increased by at least 50 per cent as it would also encourage women to visit the police stations, who otherwise are scared of even lodging a complaint," said a woman police constable.

While admitting that women could not work in difficult areas, participants at the conference said their view was equally supported by senior women officers of central police organistions. But they also felt that this would not hold true if they were provided the right infrastructure and facilities. It was also added that it was women who had to empower themselves and that empowerment and equality go hand in hand.

Special Secretary Raman Srivastava, while presiding over an interactive session on the recommendations, assured support to women in the police force to get the conference recommendations implemented by various state governments. "As this conference was pending from 2008, the next national conference would be held in September 2010," said Srivastava.

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