The city police’s attempt at cultivating a woman-friendly image by opening a thana specifically meant for women complainants has hardly found any takers yet.
Last month, the old Crime Against Women (CAW) Cell at Nanakpura — basically a reconciliatory body that mediated in cases of marital discord — was converted into a full-fledged police station with power to register cases.
More policewomen were posted there, and it was reckoned that a separate thana would encourage more women to report abuse uninhibited.
However, till May 15 — the 45th day of the unit’s existence — only nine cases of dowry torture, and a solitary case of molestation had been registered here.
In India’s rape capital, not one case of rape was reported at the unit. Over the same period, other city thanas registered more than 300 cases of dowry torture, rape and molestation, including 125 cases of dowry deaths.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that the new thana entertains only those complainants who approach it directly, and women living far away often can’t find their way to it.
Technically, there is a provision for transferring cases from other thanas, but it somehow never seems to have been used. This is in sharp contrast to the recently-created Economic Offences Wing police station, to which white-collar crimes from across the city are sent.
“The police’s first reaction is to avoid registering cases. In any case, a woman should feel secure in all police stations, not just in an exclusive one,” says former cop Kiran Bedi.
CAW chief Sudhir Yadav, however, insists the unit is receiving a “substantial” number of complaints. Police have been putting out frequent ads publicising the police station, he says.
Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said CAW was an “additional facility”, besides the services available at all other police stations.