NOIDA: A police station without powers

A police station without powers

By Akash Vashishtha in Noida

Noida’s all- women station doesn’t even have aphone

THE MAYAWATI government might have set up all- women police stations across the state as part of its agenda to provide women with basic safety. But in reality, these ostentatious stations serve no purpose.

With barely any resource or power, they are a mere tool for the government to make tall claims on addressing women’s safety. Noida’s Sector- 39 all- women police station is a classic example of this.

Set up three months ago on UP chief minister Mayawati’s directions, the station exists at a little- known location and is being operated from just a single room.

The remaining rooms are being used as an election office by the district administration staff.

According to sources, the police station merely has 15 policewomen — many of whom are assigned duties in other police posts — and a clerk, who is not experienced enough to note down complaints.

Moreover, the policewomen housed at the station can only register cases on dowry harassment or domestic physical abuse, said a woman officer requesting anonymity.

“ We are authorised to register cases under Sections ¾ 498A, 294 and 354 of the IPC,” she said.

If victims of rape, assault or snatchings approach the Sector- 39 station, they will be turned away without any assistance.

Sharmila Singh, a victim of sexual harassment at her workplace, a security agency in Noida, had to return dejected on the grounds of “ unauthorisation” of the women police officers on duty.

In the past three months, since being set up, the station has received only six to seven cases in a district ridden with crime against women.

“ There are negligible or no complaints at all in a month.

Most of the cases come to us through other police stations for

our reference and action. We do not file or attend to any original case. In the last three months, we haven’t received any direct complaint,” she added.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. This police station is also bereft of arms or ammunition — even lathis . The lady officers cannot even defend themselves, leave alone attending a distress call.

In fact, it is practically impossible for anyone to place a distress call or for the police officers to attend one in the absence of a telephone connection as well as a police vehicle.

“ We don’t even have a landline phone. How can any woman in distress call for us or complain? We have been persistently demanding a phone, a vehicle and some arms but there has been no response to the requests. We have also been asking for an experienced clerk.

When we can’t even defend ourselves, how can one expect us to help other women?” she said.

“ We use our mobile phones at our personal cost. Nobody can call us for assistance. This police station is of no help to any woman. Nobody comes here to file any complaint,” said another officer.

In absence of a police vehicle, most officers commute on personal vehicles to attend to any complaint that they are directed to. Moreover, they have not been allotted staff quarters and have also been restricted to reside within Noida.

“ If we have to go on an urgent complaint on field, we commute on our scooters. We have also been asked by our senior officers to stay in Noida. We are staying in rented accommodations. We haven’t even been given staff quarters,” the officer said.

To add to insult to injury, in this station that is no good to women or the lady police officers stationed there, one cannot even find water to drink.

Indian Students in Mebourne face racist attacks

Australian police to Indian students:

Don’t speak loudly in public

19 Feb 2009, 2029 hrs IST, IANS

MELBOURNE: In an effort to counter attacks on international students, mostly of Indian origin, police in this Australian city are asking the

young expatriates to moderate their social behaviour and not to speak loudly in their native language.

The law-enforcing authorities in Melbourne have been perturbed by a rise in violent attacks, dubbed as “curry bashing”, on students from the Indian subcontinent.

According to an estimate, around 35,000 Indian students are studying in various institutes in this second largest city of Australia.

The Indian students would be “taught”, according to a front page article in The Age newspaper Thursday, to moderate their social behaviour and not to speak loudly in native Indian languages while in public.

Indian students would also be advised against making an obvious display of wealth and not to carry laptops and iPods in late night trains.

Melbourne, which is considered one of the safest destinations in the world, has seen the crime rate go up in western suburbs by as much as 27 percent last financial year. Indian students have been at the receiving end in a number of these violent robberies.

Now the Melbourne Police is making a special effort to counter what is believed to be racially-motivated attacks.

“They need to make sure they walk through a well-lit route, even if it might be longer, and they are not openly displaying signs of wealth with iPods and phones, and not talking loudly in their native language,” Inspector Scott Mahony of Melbourne Police has been quoted by The Age as saying Thursday.

Some organizations have already expressed their views about the current drive. The Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) is one such grouping.

“It’s not being told to other communities or other students, ‘Don’t speak loudly in your native tongue, don’t carry laptops’,” the FISA head Raman Vaid has said.

It is believed the Australian authorities are seriously worried about the negative message such attacks can convey to students who plan to come to Australia in the future.

“Melbourne is one of the most peaceful cities and such attacks are an aberration. I am sure police would be able to control such negative incidents and restore Indian students’ confidence pretty soon,” Indian education consultant Pankaj Sharma said.