Lady cops handicapped for want of support system

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jun 13: Even though there is a growing need for women police personnel to discharge their duties efficiently in order to tackle crimes against women and children in the State, they have been severely handicapped by lack of a support system including budgetary support.
The entire Police Department has been facing several constraints and problems due to shortage of manpower and modern infrastructure but it is the women police personnel who have been facing even greater hardships in discharging their duties.
Considering the biological differences, women police personnel need a support and a separate system in order to enable them discharge their duties efficiently and satisfactorily.
However, neither of the women police stations nor the women exclusive IRB battalion has been given any support system so far.
In the absence of any support system, many women police personnel prefer to work in offices where they can perform their duties in civil dresses rather than working at police stations.
Many women police personnel working at different police stations and the 9th IRB battalion have been found suffering from anxiety, domestic violence and urinary tract infection.
Talking to The Sangai Express, one woman police officer, on condition of anonymity, said that they too undergo menstruation just like all other women.
For a married woman police personnel, pregnancy, child delivery and breast feeding are some inescapable duties in addition to their duties as police personnel.
But there is no separate toilet for women at some police stations nor separate recreation room nor baby day care centre, said the officer.
The 6th National Conference for women in police held under the aegis of the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs at Guwahati from February 26 to 28, 2014 recommended that there should be creche or child care centres at police stations.
The conference further recommended that child care leave should be given to women police personnel in addition to maternity leave.
On the other hand, the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017 increased maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. According to the same Act, creches should be opened at Government departments as well as private establishments.
Another woman police officer said that women IOs cannot concentrate fully on their duties even if they are handling rape and POCSO related cases which demand prompt investigation because they need to breast-feed and take care of their newborn babies.
They can concentrate more on their official duties if creches are opened at women police stations, police stations and battalions, said the officer.
A woman Constable pointed out several difficulties faced by women police personnel due to absence of separate toilets for women.
In the absence of any support system, many women police personnel have been staying out of wedlock, they often try not to conceive even if they get married and when they wish to conceive babies, they cannot due to tension and stress, said another woman police officer.
Unable to conceive through natural process, many women police officers have been taking recourse to IVF/IUI for conception.
In addition to these problems, women police personnel have to sleep inside vehicles as they do not have any place for the night when they go to different districts on official duties.
Nonetheless, a creche has been opened at the 9th IRB (Mahila) Battalion at the initiative of its CO.

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