With 21 retirements, female inspector numbers to decline to six

There is currently not even a single female among the 289 DySPs of the squad, after the last officer retired last month.
As per sources, there are now 668 inspectors, including 27 women in the state force posted in various stations and on special units like crime branch, vigilance, coastal police, etc.
As per sources, there are now 668 inspectors, including 27 women in the state force posted in various stations and on special units like crime branch, vigilance, coastal police, etc.

KOCHI : Further emphasising the negligible presence of mid-ranked women officers in Kerala police, the number of female inspectors with the force is set to drop to just six, with 21 of them set to retire on May 31.

Women IPS officers in various departmental positions, however, number around 10. The junior-most position that an IPS officer in the state is assigned is as assistant superintendent of police (ASP).

There is currently not even a single female among the 289 DySPs of the squad, after the last officer retired last month. 

As per sources, there are now 668 inspectors — including 27 women — in the state force posted in various stations and on special units like crime branch, vigilance, coastal police, etc.

A senior civil police officer (SCPO) with the state women cell lamented the declining number of women inspector-ranked officers. “The entire force, including the women cell, will have to function with six inspectors from June. As per records, an officer with the Wayanad women cell will assume charge as DySP, but just for a month, as she will retire in June,” the officer said, on condition of anonymity.

“Of the remaining six officers, four will superannuate in December. This will leave the force with just two women officers of the 1995 batch. And their tenure lasts up to 2029, which means that just two women officers will be eligible to make DySP in the interim,” she added.

“Women police was formed as a separate wing. Officers appointed to the branch had the opportunity to attain the office of superintendent through seniority or promotion. But with the introduction of regular seniority promotion lists, appointments and promotions of women officers also happen through the general wing, which has impacted their prospects,” the officer said.

“Civil police officers (CPOs) appointed through the first female recruitment through PSC in 1991 have now become inspectors. A good number of sub-inspectors were also recruited in 2018, but they were unable to be promoted as inspectors,” said another SCPO-ranked officer with the state women cell. Bureaucratic delays in selection, appointment and timely promotion have also depleted the number of women inspectors in the force, she added. 

Women officers

  • IGs: 1 (police headquarters)

  • DIGs: 2 (T’Puram & Thrissur range — both IPS officers)

  • SPs (IPS officers): 7 (including T’Puram Rural, Alappuzha and Kannur district police chiefs)

  • DySPs: 0

  • Inspectors: 27, which will drop to six after May 31

Holding the port

564 Total number of police stations (including special branches)

Of these, 484 are law and order stations

‘Officers’ retirement won’t affect functioning of police force’

Chiming in, a head constable with the women cell of Thiruvananthapuram Rural police, said her branch now operates without inspectors and sub-inspectors. “A graded assistant sub-inspector (ASI) is leading the wing. The two former sub-inspectors transferred to Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha promotion are now on the list of retiring officers,” she said.

“Three pink police units -- in Varkala, Attingal subdivision, and Neyyattinkara -- function attached to the women cell. Excluding pink police officers, the arm has six women ASIs and three women SCPOs. We are managing the station and deputation duties with these nine officers,” she said.

Responding to the issue, E V Pradeepan, general secretary of the Kerala Police Association, said, “Of the 564 police stations in the state, 484 are law and order stations. Except for a few stations that are headed by sub-inspector-ranked station house officers (SHOs), most of them have inspector-ranked officers in charge. This will ensure the smooth functioning of the force.”

The newly formed Special Women’s Battalion and the 190 posts created for drivers last month will also prove beneficial, he added.

Suneesh Kumar IPS, the superintendent of police who led the women and children cell, said the functioning of the force will not be affected by the retirement of a batch of officers appointed through separate recruitment. “We have a large number of women sub-inspectors, who are also responsible for station duty,” he said.

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