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Saturday November 26, 2022

Abbottabad Women Police Station functional after 20 years

September 26, 2022

PESHAWAR: The women police station in Abbottabad has become functional after 20 years after it was provided a record to lodge the first information report (FIR) and daily diary in cases of violence and crimes against women.

The police station was inaugurated 28 years ago by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, but it remained dysfunctional since 2002.

“The women police station has been made functional. A lady assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Fahmeeda Bibi has been assigned the charge of station house officer as no female inspector and sub-inspector was available. A female head constable is also posted muharer along with all the support staff including the wireless operator from ladies police,” District Police Officer (DPO) of Abbottabad Sajjad Khan told The News.

The official added there were three female ASIs, five HCs and 56 constables posted in the women’s police station.

A patrolling car has been provided to respond immediately to a complaint.

“The police station will now lodge and investigate cases besides conducting raids in domestic violence, family disputes, property issues and other cases related to women,” said the DPO.

Presently, there is a landline telephone number at the police station but a UAN number will soon be provided for easy access.

“All the 13 police stations of the district will also continue to deal with cases related to females on a priority basis. Female desks have already been established at these police stations,” said the Abbottabad police chief.

He added a team under a lady Deputy Superintendent of Police Nazia Noreen had been assigned to visit girls schools and colleges to create awareness about women rights and the role of the police. Women police station is a step toward women empowerment and gender balance in KP police.

The women police station in Abbottabad was the first one in the province inaugurated on May 8, 1994, by then prime minister Benazir Bhutto. However, like all other women’s police stations it also became dysfunctional.

“A total of 161 FIRs and 80 daily diary reports were registered in the PS till 2002 but it was dysfunctional since then. It was re-inaugurated for proper policing on September 21,” said Sajjad Khan.

The KP Police are planning to increase the ratio of female cops to at least 10 per cent in the coming years. Recently, a senior lady police officer Ayesha Gul was posted as AIG Gender Equality while another officer Sonia Shamroz is commanding the force in the remote Chitral as district police officer.

A few months back, the capital city police announced setting up a Gender Protection Unit by uplifting the women police station to provide a public-friendly working environment and enhance its operational capabilities.

It was said that the new unit will have a helpline and a lady police officer trained in victim support. It was supposed to be connected to the 15 helpline and BOLO helpline of the Social Welfare Department.

An official said the facility would be the nerve centre for all the women desks being set up in the Asaan Insaf Marakiz in Peshawar.

Besides, a senior officer announced setting up a daycare centre for the children of lady police officers at Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines, a unique idea that has been implemented in Balochistan and some other police forces.

KP has set up women police stations in Peshawar and Abbottabad. The facility in Peshawar was set up over two decades ago has yet to work independently like other police stations.

Also, the policewomen recruited by the province as assistant sub-inspectors and constables were mostly tasked with office jobs, work in traffic, arranging awareness seminars or to facilitate the policemen during raids. Their mainstreaming proved mere an eyewash.

None of them could participate in active policing or lead raids and operations like male colleagues despite the fact that many of them are about to be promoted as SPs in few months. Only once a female was posted as station house officer of the Gulberg Police Station, that too as additional charge for a few weeks.

The women recruited as officers of Police Service of Pakistan, however, headed a district as well as some sub-divisions in different parts of the province in the last few years.

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