Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has ordered that every police station in the Capital will have to have at least nine policewomen — two sub-inspectors and seven constables.
The home minister’s move comes in the wake of unprecedented public outrage over the gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in the Capital on December 16. The victim later died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
At present, about 9% — or 6,750 — of the 75,000-strong Delhi Police are women, which is less than the mandated presence of at least 10% policewomen in uniform.
About 4,500 of the women have desk jobs either at police stations and ancillary departments or as call attendants at the control room. It is only the remaining 2,000 to 2,500 ladies who are available for field.
As a result, there are many police stations in Delhi that do not have even a single policewoman. “Sometimes, it becomes difficult for us to make an arrest or assist a female victim due to the non-availability of a female officer,” said a Delhi Police officer on condition of anonymity.
While many of the policewomen to be appointed in police stations will be drawn from the existing force, Shinde said a special drive would be launched soon for recruiting female constables and officers.
The government has already taken a series of measures for security of women in Delhi and appointed a committee to review the anti-rape law for proving speedier justice and enhanced punishment for criminal involved in sexual assault cases.