Kolkata: After ‘Raftar’ in national capital Delhi, which exclusively tackles cases related crime against women, Kolkata has got ‘The Winners’ an all-women police squad which will take on cases of violence against women in Kolkata.
On Wednesday afternoon, a squad comprising 25 female police officers rolled out of the Kolkata Police headquarters – Lal Bazar, in the presence of Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police and other senior police officials.
Winners to your rescue
Christened as ‘The Winners’ – the all women patrolling team is all set to take on cases of violence against women, ranging from catcalling to eve teasing to molestation.
Speaking to eNewsroom, Meeraj Khalid, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South said, “This pilot initiative has been flagged off, with the primary intention of ensuring security to women. It’s also a preventive measure of tackling cases of eve teasing or verbal and physical assault on the streets.”
Watch the video, the flagging off the all women police force, called– The Winners
He then added, “The idea is to intercept the offenders on the spot, for even today, when a woman is stalked or eve teased chances of her reaching out the police is negligible. And in cases of physical assaults, often the victim has to take great efforts to register the case. This is an attempt to make things more women-friendly. The duty of these patrolling officers will be to reach out to women, who appear to be in distress on the streets of Kolkata. We want the streets to be safe for women.”
Trained to defend
To go beyond the norms of a thana and police, these women candidates had been recruited in March, following which they underwent rigorous training at the Kolkata Police Training Centre. “They have not just been trained in martial arts but also to use lethal weapons,” informed another senior police officer.
On being asked if they would be carrying pepper spray etc like the Raftaar squad of Delhi, Meeraj said, “We don’t want to go in the defensive mode. The members of this squad have lethal weapons. We want to do things in a different way so that people get used to behaving well on the streets of Kolkata.”
Each officer has been provided with a new Scooty to make patrolling easier. They have initially been assigned the task of being active near schools and colleges and area with higher women footfall.
A welcome move
Reacting to this move, Indrani Hazra, a college student said, “Yes, I have heard about this woman patrolling squad and have spotted one near Park Street. All that I can say at the moment is that this initiative of Kolkata Police is commendable. It does feel a bit safer. But only time will be able to say, how much safety they can ensure to us. I am hoping that this news deters the roadside Romeos.”