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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: With the crime against women in Odisha on the rise, the Odisha Police is mulling to induct more women in the State police force. For which, it has drawn up a roadmap to make the police force more women-friendly.

This assumes significant when the ground scenario with regard to women cops in Odisha gives a thumbs down. At present the State has only 1 women cop for every 3,749 women. Except West Bengal, all other neighbouring states – Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh – have a better number to show on the board.

Addressing the annual IPS conference on Sunday, Odisha DGP Abhay said, “Women are substantial part of our work force. Our work places and work environment must adjust to this reality. In order to welcome our women employees, the Odisha police are not only creating the necessary infrastructure but also improving the processes and SOPs, which will make Odisha Police force more women friendly.”

How Many Women Cops in Odisha?

As per the data available with Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), the total number of women cops in the State stood at 5,730 (including armed police), which is over 9.6 per cent of the total police force in the State.

What seems very interesting here is Odisha is among the few states in the country that have a policy where 33 per cent seats are reserved for the women. Bihar has the highest reservation limit of 38 per cent for women in the country. A total of 16 states have a policy of 33 per cent reservation for women in police force. Bihar and Tamil Nadu are the states that currently have the highest proportion of women in police force.

Women Cops in Police Hierarchy

A cursory glance at the hierarchy of women police gives a big thumb down. A whopping 79 per cent of women cops in Odisha Police are in the rank of constable. The national average stood at 77 per cent. Tamil Nadu emerged at the top, where only 50 per cent of total women cops are in the constable rank.

When it comes to higher ranks like AIG/SSP, Additional SP and DSP, Odisha fared poorer than Chhattisgarh. The number of women in the positions of AIG/SSP/Add.SP/DSP in the State stood at 23; whereas the count in the Chhattisgarh hierarchy is higher at 63.

Why Women Cops Are Low Up In Hierarchy? 

“Since the reserved positions are largely at the lower level of hierarchy, the numbers at the lower rank count higher. Also, as women takes long time to rise up the ladder, the numerical strength look very minnow at the higher ranks. Moreover, women IPS recruits are also fewer than males,” explained a DSP level Women officer in Odisha police.

She further explained why Chhattisgarh has higher number than Odisha. “The main reason behind is Chhattisgarh has been the worst LWE (Left Wing Extremists) hit state in the country, where 40 per cent of LWE cadres are females. Odisha has not a single woman DSP in armed police force, in contrast Chhattisgarh has five.”     

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