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Punjab: ‘Sexual Abuse Rampant’ in Punjab Police:
Punjab: ‘Sexual Abuse Rampant’ in Punjab Police:
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Punjab: ‘Sexual Abuse Rampant’ in Punjab Police:
If IG Ms Deo Has Lit A Small Flame Of Hope, It Needs To Be Protected With Both Hands.


If IG Ms Deo Has Lit A Small Flame Of Hope, It Needs To Be Protected With Both Hands.

 1.  ‘Sexual abuse rampant’ in Punjab Police: IG says complaint panels formed in all police districts, but dire steps needed to check menace: updated: Mar 9, 2018, 6:32 PM (IST)
2.  IG Deo, you were brave, stay firm: ‘Sexual abuse rampant’ in Punjab Police: Nikhil Bhardwaj Tribune News Service: Ludhiana, March 8, 2018
3.  Sexual harassment at workplace is widespread in Punjab Police and drastic steps need to be taken to curb the menace, said IG-Provisioning Gurpreet Deo at a state-level police conference on International Women’s Day today.
4.  Deo, who heads the internal complaints committee dealing with sexual harassment cases, said: “Such cases come to light regularly in the police department and there is a need to take serious steps to curb the menace.
5.  Internal complaint committees have been formed in each police district and commissionerate where women cops can file their complaints. The guilty will not be spared.”
6.  Recently, a woman constable complained against a Fazilka DSP, accusing him of sexually harassing her by calling up at odd hours and using offensive language, she said. “When the matter was brought to the committee, we initiated a probe and the DSP was immediately taken off field duty.”
7.  The woman cop later withdrew her complaint, apparently under duress.
8.  In the inquiry, however, the allegations against the DSP were found to be true and the officer will now have to face the law, she said.
9.  A Bathinda ASI is also facing similar allegations and he too has been taken off field duty by the DGP, the IG asserted.
10.  While 27 internal complaint committees are currently functional in the state, some shortcomings, like some being headed by male officers or staff shortage, had been noticed and these were being sorted out.
11.  DGP-Modernisation and Administration MK Tiwari said a loan was being sought from HUDCO to build 100 scientifically-designed police stations. Only 180 police stations in the state met architectural parameters, he said.
12.  ‘Foul language used often at workplace’: In a complaint to DGP-Modernisation and Administration MK Tiwari, women cops alleged that SHO and ASI-rank officers often used abusive language in their presence at police stations, making the work environment non-conducive for them. This poses a serious challenge, especially when officials at police stations have been asked to be polite with public.
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13.  Punjab:  “‘Sexual abuse rampant’ in Punjab Police”: continue…
14.  Punjab:  “‘Sexual abuse rampant’ in Punjab Police”:  IG Deo, You Were Brave, Stay Firm: Last Updated: Mar 11, 2018, 9:49 PM (IST)
15.  “Women []in the police] need to be made aware and given confidence so that they are able to lodge complaints….
16.  The problem []in the department] is very widespread. If we shut our eyes, we may declare all is well. But as a woman police officer, I am aware of the problem of sexual harassment.
17.  Women constables as well as officers don’t have the confidence because they don’t trust their complaints would be redressed.”
18.  IG Gurpreet Deo, a lady IPS officer of the Punjab Police, demonstrated unusual forthrightness and boldness on International Women’s Day in stating that the problem of sexual harassment within the force is serious.
19.  The statement was front-paged by The Tribune on March 9, 2018 under the headline “‘Sexual abuse rampant’ in Punjab Police”. The matter would have passed without much notice had there not been a subsequent denial from the officer herself (which has not been published).
20.  The turnaround, in fact, served to underscore the bravery of the first act of honest revelation.
21.  It proved just what she had said on the sidelines of a function in Ludhiana while talking to a small group of journalists:
22.  “Women [in the police] need to be made aware and given confidence so that they are able to lodge complaints…. The problem [in the department] is very widespread.
23.  If we shut our eyes, we may declare all is well. But as a woman police officer, I am aware of the problem of sexual harassment. Women constables as well as officers don’t have the confidence because they don’t trust their complaints would be redressed.”
24.  Women in any work environment will have no problem understanding and believing what she said. Being in uniform — especially in a patriarchal set-up like the Punjab Police — only makes speaking out that much more difficult.
25.  After the publication of the story, the officer felt compelled to issue a formal denial of ever having said such a thing. “It is wrong to say that sexual harassment is widespread in the Punjab Police,” her letter said.
26.  The code of silence that does not allow suffering constables to speak up had apparently imposed itself on a senior officer too.
27.  The Tribune’s insistence on standing by its story may cause further trouble for the officer, but that is just the travesty of justice that this paper hopes to stave off — for her, as well as for all of womanhood.
28.  It would now be up to the police top brass as well as the government to send out the right message by first acknowledging what she has said as truth, and, next, appreciating her in a manner they deem appropriate for the courage she has demonstrated.
29.  Otherwise, the impression will go out that she was pressured to withdraw her statement. That would definitely not be good for the confidence of the young constables she is trying to protect.
30.  Blaming the police for the behaviour of its personnel would be giving oneself an easy excuse to escape responsibility. The police, or any one social group, is never very different from society at large. And Punjab is passing through a particularly distasteful civilisational phase.
31.  A distinctly pointless existence is evident on the faces of youth in the state, even if they are not to blame for their circumstance. The awful lyrics of contemporary Punjabi music — wrongly ascribed to Punjabi culture — are now legend.
32.  In an irony of sorts, the police have recently embarked on a mission to contact singers and writers of such songs to persuade them to sober down their work.
33.  It would be good if the police would also indulge in some introspection over their own behaviour, not only towards their woman colleagues, but also people they are meant to serve. It is hard to retain one’s sensitive side when dealing with criminals for years on end.
34.  But then the very purpose of a policeman’s existence is defeated if he loses his humanity. It has to remain an eternal battle.
35.  What the police need to work on is a robust internal grievance redress mechanism, which is needed equally for women and men.
36.  Currently the reflex action in the service is to deny a problem. As has been highlighted earlier, suicides in the force — a consequence of stress, alcoholism, corruption, et al — are passed off as accidental gunshots.
37.  That only causes the problems to fester and grow.
38.  If Ms Deo has lit a small flame of hope, it needs to be protected with both hands.
Tribune News Service: Ludhiana: THETRIBUNE< CHANDIGARH
Highlights Forwarded by: Balbir Singh Sooch-Sikh Vichar Manch

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