Special Correspondent

Additional DGP submits note to Rajasthan CM recommending its abolition

JAIPUR: The all-woman police battalion announced by Rajasthan’s erstwhile woman Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is seemingly not finding favour with the present Congress regime in the State. Though there is no official decision yet on the fate of the Hadi Rani Battalion, named after the legendary Rajput queen, the exclusive force, meant to include 1,100 personnel, may not take off after all.

While the BJP Mahila Morcha has threatened an agitation to keep the battalion, said to be the first of its kind in the country, going,

State Government sources have denied any such move.

However it is a fact that one of the Additional Directors-General of Police of the State , Navdeep Singh, has submitted a note to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot suggesting abolition of the battalion.

Lack of compatibility

Among other things, the fears of lack of physical and intellectual compatibility with their male counterparts were reportedly mentioned as the reasons for recommending winding it up.

“It is an anti-woman move,” said State Mahila Morcha president Suman Sharma, pointing out that 675 posts for the battalion had already been announced and tests had been conducted for 118 posts.

“This is an attempt by the Gehlot Government to deprive women of job opportunities and chances of improving their social status,” said Ms. Sharma, threatening an agitation if the Government goes ahead with the suggestion.

According to her, the note from the ADGP had “objectionable” references to women including the suggestion that “the concept of an all-woman battalion would disturb the social fabric of the State”.

Senior police officers in the State, denying any such move by Police Headquarters, however expressed scepticism over the viability of such a police force in tradition-bound Rajasthan.

“If it is in the North-East or in South it could have worked but not in Rajasthan,” said a senior officer who termed the whole concept as a potential “white elephant” for the State.

“We agree that the police force needs more recruitment of women constables and officers, but the concept of raising a whole battalion appears preposterous. It could have been a few companies or platoons,” the officer he said.