KOZHIKODE: The Kozhikode City Women’s Police Station the first allwomen police station in Asia is crying for better facilities. The station was inaugurated in 1973 with much fanfare by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the same has always been touted as a pride in terms of women empowerment. But even after close to 50 years, there is not even a permanent dining table for cops at the station.
Officers at the station face difficulties as there are no sufficient number of changing rooms and not even a proper drinking water facility. “The facilities available at the station are minimal,” said a civil police officer, who requested anonymity. “There are 33 officers working at the station.
Other than the offices of the sub-inspector and assistant sub-inspector, what we have is a small changing room, and there is no resting place. We have around 20 officers at a time at the station and they have to use two benches to have lunch.
The visitors’ room does not have an attached washroom. Elderly visitors find it difficult to access the washroom situated outside the building.” The jurisdiction of the Women’s Police Station includes Town, Kasaba, Chemmangad, Nadakkavu, Panniyankara, Meenchantha and Medical College. But, behind the facade of women empowerment, there is a tale of neglect and dearth of facilities.
Another officer, who also requested anonymity, said, “We do not have an investigation room. A small, dingy room is used for keeping documents. Arms and ammunition are also stacked here due to lack of space. Women and girls, who are taken into protective custody, have to be lodged at the station before they are taken to shelter homes, and they are forced to sleep on mats on the floor. We sometimes give our bedsheets to them.” Reacting to the issue, City Police Commissioner A Akbar told TNIE that he was unaware of the acute lack of facilities at the station and assured action.
Station House Officer Seeta V said women could walk into the station at day or night without fear. The station has two helplines- 9995399953 and 9833312222. Two women officers and a driver will be available 24×7 to help women in distress. Assistant Sub-Inspector Rejitha P K said that the station had received 98 complaints this month.
“In 2021, we got 264 general petitions and 68 petitions under Aparajita redressal mechanism. Aparajitha is a swift response mechanism for women and girls and has recorded 18 cases so far. We try to settle complaints so that they are not registered as cases. We discuss, try to get to the root of the matter and refer parties to the Vanitha Cell for counselling,” she said. Most of the cases were related to dowry and assault, she added.
What the station needs