No lady cop for bandobust, a mere stopgap?

Activists remind govt of its duty to arrange for facilities so the cops can do theirs
Image for representation (File Photo | EPS)
Image for representation (File Photo | EPS)

CHENNAI: Social media were abuzz with activity soon after DGP J K Tripathy, reportedly in line with a directive from Chief Minister MK Stalin, issued oral instructions to district and city police chiefs to avoid deploying women police personnel along roads for VIP bandobust duty. Praises were heaped on the chief minister, references were made to Miga Miga Avasaram, a flick based on the ordeals faced by women officers. 

The reported rationale behind the decision was to save women officers from having to face difficulties arising out of a lack of toilet facilities and the resultant health issues. The decision, however, raises more questions than answers, say activists and police officers whom Express spoke with on the topic.

While a section of police personnel are in support of the decision, others termed it regressive. Frowning on the decision, a senior officer in the rank of inspector questioned the need to recruit women into law enforcement if they are given such preferential treatment.

According to sources in the department, personnel from the Armed Reserve are deployed for bandobust along routes taken by the chief minister’s convoy every day and that of the governor, the president, and the prime minister whenever they travel.

The personnel have to stand  for at least several hours, subject to delays. Sources said that though the department has mobile toilets they are used mostly for political rallies and other events where there would be a large deployment of police personnel.

Calling it a regressive move, AIDWA’s Kavitha Gajendran said: “Isn’t it the duty of the State to provide facilities instead of announcing a withdrawal altogether? It is taking a step back in the name of protecting women. This perspective of seeing women as vulnerable is not the right way to go about it. They should be given supplementary provisions to perform their duties well,” she said, adding that there are women in all fields who work under pressure; they all cannot be sent back home.

Alleging gender discrimination, Karthik, a men’s rights activist, said men have been slogging in tough jobs for centuries, but their contribution has never been acknowledged. “We welcome the decision but men should also be considered equal and provided facilities to discharge their duties,” he said.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The New Indian Express