Srinagar: Five all-women Police Stations (PSs) and eight Women Police Cells (WPCs), tackling rising crimes against women in Kashmir, are gradually attaining success in winning trust of their main stakeholders (women) with empathy.
These Police Stations are in Srinagar, Baramulla, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kupwara while the Women Police Cells are in Budgam, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Shopian, Kulgam and Police districts of Awantipora and Handwara.
Officials said, “The dearth of staff in these Police Stations is being gradually addressed; besides Women Police Cells will be converted into Police Stations in future.”
Over the years there has been an increasing trend in crimes against women viz., domestic violence, atrocities, eve teasing, stalking, matrimonial problems, acid attacks. In this backdrop, there was an urgent need of creation of police stations exclusively manned by women so that women could feel free to contact for any assistance.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the Women Police wing was established in 1965 with a staff of one SI, 2 ASIs, 3 HCs and 27 Constables. Their duties included assistance to investigating staff in arrests, searches and interrogation of women offenders and suspects. They were also used against women demonstrations and mobs. Their other important duty was screening of women passengers at Jammu and Srinagar airports.
Vide Government Order No 218-Home of 2016 dated April 11, 2016, four women Police Stations, one each in the districts of Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri and Udhampur were also created. For this purpose, 208 posts were sanctioned (52 for each Women Police Station-1 Inspector, 1 SI, 2 ASIs, 6 HCs, 34 Constables and 8 Followers).
The strength of women police in the Union Territory has increased manifold and some of women officers of the UT have been directly recruited as DySsP through J&K Civil Services Examination.
“In Women Police Cells, the cases related to crimes against women are being dealt with,” officials said, adding, “If there is a case of serious nature that is forwarded to the police station.”
“The purpose behind setting up a women’s police station in Kashmir as well as Jammu region is to provide a better environment for women as crimes against women have been increasing,” a senior police officer told Greater Kashmir. “With this step, these crimes are being dealt with full force,” he said.
He said that as crimes against women were increasing, it was necessary for women to come forward. “Now they are having someone, who is listening to their problems, without hesitation. Only women can understand other women,” he said.
The officer said that women were coming forward with their complaints. “Although there is little dearth of staff in these Women Police Stations, that is being addressed,” a senior police officer at J&K Police Headquarters said. “Gradually the manpower is being upgraded and gadgets for sophisticated investigations have also been issued.”
“The creation of these Women Police Stations has enabled women to report offenses and bring visibility of women at the level of public interface especially in situations where aggrieved women intend to seek redress in an empathetic environment with institutional support,” he added.
The officer said that gradually the Women Police Cells would be converted into Police Stations. “These cells are functioning from Sadder Police Stations of every district,” he added. According to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), crimes against women in Jammu and Kashmir have gone up by 15.62 percent in one year. More than 7,000 accused were arrested.
“The conviction rate remained low as only 95 people were awarded sentences, while cases under investigation touched 6,275 by the end of last year,” NCRB report said.
It said crimes against women marked a steady rise from 2019 to 2021, with the highest 3,937 such cases reported in 2021 against 3,405 cases in 2020. In 2019, there were 3,069 such cases.
“According to the 2011 census, there are 64 lakh women in Jammu and Kashmir and the crime rate per lakh population in 2021 stood at 61.6 percent,” the report said.
“The report said 315 cases of rape, 1,414 incidents of attempt to rape and 14 dowry deaths were lodged in 2021, and incidentally, 91.4 percent of the accused involved in rape were known to the victim,” the report said.
As many as 1,851 cases were also registered in connection with assault on women with the intention to outrage their modesty. Of these, 14 cases were reported from shelter homes for women and children, and five rape cases were reported in custody.