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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Special squads at every police station to keep you safe

Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 25, 2013
First Published: 01:03 IST(25/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:04 IST(25/1/2013)

Special squads will be formed at each police station to tackle rising crimes against women in the city.

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Police sources said instructions have been issued by the commissioner's office to all police stations to form the squads to tackle the menace of sexual harassment in their respective jurisdictions.

Ambadas Pote, deputy commissioner of police, crime, and Mumbai police spokesperson, confirmed that verbal orders had been issued last week.

The squad, sources said, will comprise five-six constables, including women constables, who will be deployed at bus stops and public places during peak hours. The team will be led by an officer of the rank of a police sub-inspector (PSI) and all members of the squad will be in plain clothes.

"Each police station will first identify places - bus stops, malls or market places - in their jurisdiction where instances of sexual harassment are high. The deployments will be made accordingly," sources said, adding that during morning office hours, incidents of sexual harassment and molestation are high at bus stops in densely populated areas.

Similarly, instances of harassment are often high at market places and malls in the evening.

Sources said the squad would be similar to the anti-Romeo squad, which existed in the mid-1980s to pin down those who pick pockets and harassed women,

Such squads, commonly referred to as teku squad then, were impromptu arrangements made at police station levels on need basis.

Old timers in the police department said the problem of sexual harassment was so acute in the mid-1980s that it occupied centre stage of policing in the city.

The teku squad was gradually disbanded after complaints of harassment and molestation came down in the 1990s.


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