Four months after changing the call sign for women beat constables from “Charlie” to “Damini”, the Mumbai police has gone back to the old name on its secure wireless network.
Mumbai police commissioner Dattatreya Padsalgikar has now told every police station not to call women beat constables Damini, following complaints that the name was often a cause of embarrassment to them.
“We have now restored the old call sign “Charlie” for our women beat marshalls,” Padsalgikar told HT on Thursday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), wireless, Balkrishna Yadav, said the two women beat marshals posted in each of the 93 police stations across the city would henceforth be identified as Charlie-1 and Charlie-2, instead of Damini-1 and Damini-2.
The name was changed to Damini as the higher-ups then felt the word, which means lightning in Hindi, would better convey the image of the motorcycle-borne women cops as warriors quick to respond to distress calls. They are especially tasked with keeping the streets free from chain snatchers and sex predators.
But the Hindi name was not in sync with the rest of the wireless code under which the police commissioner is identified as “King” and the Director General of Police (DGP) as “Police”.
Women marshals were first deployed in 2012 by the then additional commissioner of police, central region, Qaisar Khalid. Beginning with 47 commandos, their number grew to 207 over the years. They were allotted to police stations and the assigned call sign “Charlie”, which was later changed to Damini.
This change was emulated by police across the state, which gave them codes like Nirbhaya mobile police team, Damini squad and Ranragini squad. With the Mumbai police deciding to restore the old code, others are expected to follow suit soon.