Saturday, 29 August 2015

All Women Police Stations (AWSPs)

Why in news?

  • The Haryana government inaugurated 21 all women police stations (AWPSs), one for each state district.
  • These police stations, each with a total strength of 30 policewomen, will deal with a range of crimes against women, including rape, molestation, offences under the anti-dowry act, fraudulent marriages and others. 
Background:

  • 1973 - first in Kozhikode
  • 1990s - Tamil Nadu
  • Now - over 500 in India
Significance:
  • More focused approach (e..g - Mahila Bank)
  • More comfortable for women to report crime
Evaluation:
  • From the numbers the NCRB puts out, AWPSs have not been able to stem the rising graph of crimes against women. 
  • In Tamil Nadu, which has the largest number of AWPSs in the country, the incidence of crimes against women is low compared to other states, but has risen since 1995. 
    • Anecdotal evidence suggests that Tamil Nadu AWPSs, primarily meant to deal with dowry cases, see dispute “resolution” as their main function. 
    • As a result, they tend to turn into kangaroo courts, as prone to corrupt practices as their male counterparts. 
    • The policewomen, as much as policemen, lack professional training in handling crimes against women and depend on custom rather than law to deal with complaints.

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