“Hello Golf Papa, Golf Papa, we have received a complaint of sexual assault; please reach immediately to the spot and rescue the distressed woman,” this is that message Women Armed Special Protection Squad (WASPS) receives on their wireless sets many times in a day.
As soon as special women helpline '1091' receives a complaint regarding crime against women, the operator immediately contacts 'Golf Papa', - wireless code of WASPS team of 30 armed women cops on scooters, roaming in the city round the clock.
Prabhjot Kaur, a woman operator of 1091 service, said on an average about 10 complaints are received at the helpline daily. “We immediately inform the nearest WASPS team to reach the spot,” she said.
Recalling the recent complaint of a foreign national woman, who complained that she was being held hostage in Satnam Nagar locality, Prabhjot said “As she disconnected the phone after lodging the complaint, last location of her mobile number was traced by the special staff and ultimately the woman was rescued from one of the houses in Satnam Nagar locality,” she said.
“The case was later found to that of flesh trade, in which the complainant was also involved,” she said.
On November 22, a woman complained on the helpline that she was being harassed by four males and a WASPS team reached the spot within four minutes and the accused were let off only after they apologised for their behaviour.
“Most of the calls received on the helpline are of women who have complaints against their husbands or in-laws for domestic violence. Most of the times, WASPS teams' intervention leads to compromise in the families,” she added.
Another helpline operator, Jyoti said that recently a complaint was received that a minor girl of Himachal Pardesh is roaming in bus stand area. A WASPS team reached the spot and found that she had eloped with her boyfriend, who later deserted her. “She was kept in the police station and safely handed over to her parents next day,” she said.
However, the women operators rued that even they are not spared by the eve-teasers, as many a times, they receive calls where the caller uses abusing language and in such cases, WASPS teams are dispatched to callers' address to teach them a lesson.”
“Several times, drunken women call and accordingly help is extended to them by WASPS team, but not before taking appropriate action against them,” another operator Jaspreet Kaur said.
Meanwhile, HT investigation revealed that majority of the cases of sexual assault of molestation go unreported as women hesitate going to police station, where they think they will have to face uncomfortable questions from male cops.
Aparna Gupta, a housewife, said that in case of the sexual assault, distressed woman should not be made to record her statement to male cops, rather women cops should reach the complainants to record their statement.