Asia’s first women’s police station, in Kozhikode, set to celebrate golden jubilee

Station inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 27, 1973

October 17, 2023 07:10 pm | Updated October 19, 2023 11:10 am IST - Kozhikode

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the inauguration of the  Vanitha Police Station  (women’s police station) at Kozhikode on October 27, 1973.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the inauguration of the  Vanitha Police Station  (women’s police station) at Kozhikode on October 27, 1973.

October 27, 1973 was a momentous day for Kozhikode as then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came to the city to inaugurate Asia’s first police station with all-women staff dedicated to preventing crimes against women. Also present on the occasion were then Kerala Governor N.N. Wanchoo, Chief Minister C. Achutha Menon and Home Minister K. Karunakaran.

Fifty years since its inauguration, the Vanitha Police Station stands tall, having been of service to thousands of women who sought solace there. The golden jubilee celebrations of the station began on Monday, with 50 police officers donating blood to the blood bank at Women and Children’s Hospital at Kottaparamba. The event was inaugurated by Mayor Beena Philip. A hair donation drive for cancer patients on Tuesday also witnessed good response from the personnel.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurating the  Vanitha Police Station  (women’s police station) at Kozhikode on October 27, 1973.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurating the  Vanitha Police Station  (women’s police station) at Kozhikode on October 27, 1973.

“We have different programmes planned for the next ten days. The blood and hair donation drives are only the beginning,” said sources at the station.

Fifty years ago, the station was a small arrangement, close to the City Police Commissioner’s office. M. Padmini Amma, a native of Thiruvananthapuram, was the first sub inspector in charge of the station, which had three head constables and 12 constables. Kuttiyamma, her successor, was reportedly a nightmare for eve-teasers in the city. The station was later shifted to its own building on Pavamani Road in 1997 and was inaugurated by E.K. Nayanar, the Chief Minister at the time.

Preparations on for the golden jubilee celebrations at the Vanitha Police Station in Kozhikode.

Preparations on for the golden jubilee celebrations at the Vanitha Police Station in Kozhikode.

In the beginning, the station was only given the power to receive complaints and investigate. The first case registered at the station was that of three missing children, who were eventually found. The station was allowed to register complaints in 1974. Initially, the station only took up cases in which the complainants as well as the respondents were women. Later, the rule was changed so that women could file their complaints against anyone at the station.

Today, the Vanitha Police Station comes under the Assistant Commissioner (Town) and the 24 police personnel, including five assistant sub inspectors, six senior civil police officers and 13 CPOs, have become an active force in maintaining law and order in the city. The opening of the Vanitha Police Station in Kozhikode also marked the beginning of an era of women-friendly policing. Since then, thousands of women’s police stations and women’s cells have opened in different parts of the country.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the inauguration of the  Vanitha Police Station  (women’s police station) at Kozhikode on October 27, 1973.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the inauguration of the  Vanitha Police Station  (women’s police station) at Kozhikode on October 27, 1973.

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