Bihar to have exclusive women’s desk at all police stations

Each of 823 regular police stations in Bihar and 100-odd government railway police (GRP) stations will soon have an exclusive desk to register complaints related to women.

IG (CID-weaker sections) Arvind Pandey has directed all SPs, including those of the GRP, to set up the women’s desk within a fortnight.

The direction has been issued to facilitate the implementation of recent changes in the criminal laws at the centre, following the hue and cry over the recent Delhi gang rape case.

Pursuant to the amendment, all SPs (superintendents of police) in Bihar have also been asked to conduct workshops for subordinate officials to sensitise them about handling crime related to women.

The SPs have been also been asked to download original documents related to amendments to various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and Indian Evidence Act and circulate them among officials to ensure strict adherence to the provisions for checking crime against women.

In cases of shortage of women police personnel, an official preferably of sub-inspector rank, could be deputed to handle the women’s desk in the police station concerned.

“However, this can only be an exceptional case, as the amended section (154) of the CrPC clearly stipulates that the statement of victims should be should be lodged preferably by a woman officer,” a letter sent to SPs read.

Quoting section 166(A) of the IPC, the IG said any police officer, who showed reluctance to lodge an FIR by any victim would be liable to punishment, including jail term for one year.

“SPs should step in to take action against erring officials,” said the IG.

As per official data, 9,795 cases of crime against women were recorded in Bihar in calendar year 2012.

This figure comprised 927 cases of rape, 3,789 cases of kidnapping, 118 cases of teasing, 1,275 cases of dowry related murder and 3,686 cases of dowry harassment.