The police in Pune have decided to step in to tackle the security problem call centre workers face at night, following the rape and murder of Jyoti Chowdhary on the night of November 1.
The 20-year-old worker of Wipro’s call centre Spectramind was raped and murdered by the BPO’s cab driver Purushottam Borate and his friend Pradeep Kokade.
Deputy commissioner of police Chandrashekhar Daithankar said the call centres had been told to put a guard in every car that carries female employees, but this was not followed. “To make it official, we have decided to call a meeting of all BPO managements in Pune in a day or two to inform them about security directives which they are supposed to heed,” he said.
The police are now working on making it mandatory by law to have a guard in every cab.
“The number of female employees working night shifts in these BPOs is as high as 40 per cent of the total strength, because of which the security angle becomes very important. Keeping this in mind, we have decided to issue orders under the Bombay Police Act, making it compulsory for every BPO unit to depute security personnel in each cab,” Daithankar said.
T.K. Kurien, the president of the Wipro BPO, said: “Keeping in mind the security factor, all Wipro employees, male or female, will have security staff to accompany them while coming to the centre or going back.”
It was also found that the BPOs do not always have the necessary information required about the drivers. Geeta Narayan, who works with a call centre in Pune, said: “Many times, the cab drivers are new and we come to know that they have been employed by the cab service contractors without having passed on all the information to the BPO.”
There is also no system in place to check whether the cab driver has consumed liquor before coming for duty. The driver who confessed to have murdered Jyoti was also drunk.
Pune is second to Bangalore in the number of call centre employees it has. There are over 40,000 employees for whom some 50 car service providers make 5,000 rounds using around 1,500 cars.