Women in the present world have created a separate entity for themselves. What is urgently required is that there should be a social metamorphosis and realization in all the sections of society regarding the value of women. However, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led Punjab government has been conducive and sensitive towards the empowerment of women in the state.
A Women Armed Special Protection Squad (WASPS), has been set – up by the state government which includes of women police personnel who turn a hawk eye against the eve – teasers, and provides a helping hand to the victims of sexual harassment and takes stringent action against the perpetrators of criminal offences in the state of Punjab.
Initially being set up in Bathinda under the proficient guidance and support of MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Women Armed Special Protection Squad (WASPS) in – charge, DSP Avneet Sidhu said, “The squad is divided into 10 beats, in which 10 points near schools, colleges or crime – prone areas were selected and distributed to women cops. In Bathinda, there are 25 women cops working under the project. Two women cops patrol in their assigned beats on their modified two-wheeler. Sundays are off days.”
Being provided with appropriate training for the job, the Women Armed Special Protection Squad (WASPS) personnel are equipped with 9 mm pistols, wireless sets handcuffs and pepper sprays. Working in efficient coordination with the Police Control Room (PCR), women helpline number and the Women Armed Special Protection Squad (WASPS), the problems of the victims are first tried to be solved at a primary level. However, if the situation appears to be out of control, the nearest police station officials indulge into the case.
The pro-active approach and dedication of the woman squad, is clearly evident by the fact that while on work, they do not attend private phone calls and messages. Immensely convinced by their work, IG Nirmal Singh Dhillon said that, “It is a right step in the right direction. It has been a cent per cent success. Eve teasing has drastically gone down and boys can no more be seen near schools, colleges or tuition centers. The adjoining districts have also been demanding such squads, and shortly they will also have them.” The Women Armed Special Protection Squad (WASPS), patrolling is done around the clock. However, active patrolling is done daily between 8 am and 5 pm, for the safety of women in the state. 0164-2215020 is the women helpline number.
Earlier, the filing of an FIR was a taboo for the women in the state, in terms of giving an account of the entire incident which would ultimate lead to emotional and psychological breakdown for her. However, with the set – up of The Women Armed Special Protection Squad, an acceleration in the awareness and lodging of complaints has been witnessed in the state of Punjab. Needless to say, WASPS has contributing towards the right of shelter and safety to the women, and putting a halt to criminal offences such as domestic violence, eve-teasing and stalking.