October 22, 2020

Man helms women police station

Patna: A male sub-inspector is heading a women’s police station in Bagaha police district in north Bihar.

Devendra Choudhary, a male sub-inspector of police, has been officiating as the station house officer (SHO) of Bagaha in West Champaran district. He was made the station house officer of the women’s police station about two months ago.

The senior police officers attributed the reason to lack of women staff. Bagaha, according to sources, has only two women police officers – Asha Rai and Belry Frank – who were in the rank of assistant sub-inspector and didn’t qualify for the post of the SHO.

Incumbent Bagaha superintendent of police Arvind Kumar Gupta admitted on Friday that the district women’s police station was being run by a male police officer due to shortage of women officers in the district, which is close to the Nepal border.

Another male sub-inspector Dushyant Kumar was earlier made the SHO of Bagaha women’s police station.

“As far as I recall, no female police officer has ever been posted as the SHO of the women’s police station since its inception in 2012,” said a police officer posted in Bagaha, around 240km northwest of Patna.

Bagaha SP Gupta revealed that he has written to the deputy inspector-general (Champaran range) Lallan Mohan Prasad to provide women police officers so that one of them could be posted as the SHO of the women’s police station.

“But the matter is still pending in the office of the DIG,” he told The Telegraph.

Gupta said it appeared to be embarrassing but had no option.

“What can we do? After all we have to post somebody as the SHO. So the precedent continues,” the SP said and added that as per the directive of the police headquarters only a woman police officer has to be appointed SHO of the women’s police station.

In 2012, the state government decided to set up 40 women’s police stations in the state.

The motive of the government behind setting up the exclusive police stations for women was to effectively deal with crimes pertaining to dowry, rape etc and ensure speedy justice to the victims.

Though the Bagaha police district was set up in 1996, the district still lacked a special Pocso court to conduct trial of cases related to offences against minors and the government hospital to conduct medical tests. As a result, the victims were sent to Bettiah, nearly 65km from Bagaha, for the test.

To drive home the point, a senior police officer said: “A Class X school student, who was allegedly gang-raped last week, was taken to Bettiah to get her statement recorded in the special Pocso court and her medical examination. The exercise is tiresome both for the investigating officer and the victims as well.”

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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