Saturday, February 4

Women cops in high demand at key pujas

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Whether it is Suruchi Sangha in New Alipore, Telengabagan near Ultadanga, 25 Pally in Kidderpore or Maddox Square, every major Puja this year have placed a special request to Lalbazar seeking allotment of women cops, especially for the midnight revellers. The 500-odd women police force — and the 25-member Winners unit — have thus found special mention in this year’s Durga Puja police arrangement.

“Since the Winners team will be armed with smaller weapons and special fibre batons, they are best equipped for the job. Led by additional DC Aparajita Rai, the force will be assigned to different pandals based on requirement. We are beginning round-the-clock monitoring of pandals from Chaturthi itself. We are receiving requests and our distribution will be based on the footfalls at the specific areas and the general law-and-order situation in the city. Since our team is already operating in the shopping areas of both Sealdah and Hatibagan, our operations will not be limited to south Kolkata even though our main focus will remain there,” said an IPS officer.

The rest of the women force will be equally divided among major pandals, he said, adding that their duty hours may increase from Saptami. There have been around 60 organizers who have requested the women cops’ assignment so far. “We plan to cover at least 12 pandals every two hours in the evening and night,” said an officer.

Talking to TOI, Rai said they were hopeful of covering the entire city. “Our force is already on duty in the market places and has nabbed more than 15 harassers in the past month. Since the inception of Winners this July, more than 65 people have been arrested for molesting or misbehaving with women,” said Rai.

The police decision to deploy the women force stems from two necessities — some organizers admit that they run short of women volunteers and secondly, a survey carried out by each of the 71 police stations to identify spots which they felt were trouble prone during Puja.

Source: Times of India

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