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Just 3% women in Punjab Police

Chandigarh,  “I have never ever seen a lady munshi. We are not given the role of investigators. How many murder cases in Punjab are being handled by women?”

As Ludhiana assistant commissioner of police (ACP-headquarters) Rupinder Kaur Bhatti threw a volley of questions at the Women Police Conference on Empowerment and Self-Development on Thursday, a kind of disappointment was writ large on the faces of the all-women audience.

The ACP, however, motivated the lady cops to grab opportunities and be willing to take responsibilities to succeed. She asserted that women need to be fully prepared and take the challenge of such opportunities.

Bhatti then continued with the statistics. Women in the country constitute just 7.28% of the police force. In Punjab, the picture is grimmer with just 3% representation of women in the entire police force.

Among the total 80,486 police personnel in the state, there are just 4,233 women cops. Also, there are just 8 women police stations among the total 399 in the state, she said. “Women constables form a majority of the force and the number of women cops gets reduced as we go up in hierarchy,” she added.

Bhatti said lady cops face issues like stereotyping of roles and gender bias. “They are mostly given the roles of women cell in-charges and computer operators. A woman has never been appointed as a munshi. They are appointed as investigation officers only in cases of rape or marital disputes. There is one woman SSP in the state and only six women SHOs out of 374.”

‘Face sexual harassment’

As inspector general (IG-personnel and training) Anita Punj addressed the cops about the laws relating to sexual harassment, the cops complained that their male counterparts often make taunting remarks and make fun of them among themselves.