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Posted at: Mar 9, 2018, 1:45 AM; last updated: Mar 9, 2018, 6:32 PM (IST)

‘Sexual abuse rampant’ in Punjab Police

IG says complaint panels formed in all police districts, but dire steps needed to check menace
‘Sexual abuse rampant’ in Punjab Police
U’khand ex-DGP Kanchan Bhattacharya (R) being honoured by (from L) RN Dhoke, Police Commissioner; Gurpreet Deo, IG, and Anita Punj, PPA Director. Himanshu Mahajan

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8

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.

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. 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.”

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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.”

The woman cop later withdrew her complaint, apparently under duress. 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. A Bathinda ASI is also facing similar allegations and he too has been taken off field duty by the DGP, the IG asserted.

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.

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.

‘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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