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"Assess women police"

SYMBOL OF EMPOWERMENT: Senior police officer Kiran Bedi with members of the Indian Women's Association, in Salem on Saturday. — P. Goutham

SYMBOL OF EMPOWERMENT: Senior police officer Kiran Bedi with members of the Indian Women's Association, in Salem on Saturday. — P. Goutham  

R. Ilangovan

SALEM: The performance of women police, particularly in Tamil Nadu, should be evaluated dispassionately with the help of an independent agency, senior police officer and Magsaysay award winner Kiran Bedi said.

Ms. Bedi told The Hindu that it was the need of the hour to assess their performance as Tamil Nadu had many firsts to its credit, particularly with relation to women policing.

"This will further enhance their performance," she said.

Tamil Nadu could boast of more senior police officers in the ranks of Deputy Superintendents and Assistant Commissioners and had a greater number of police stations, managed exclusively by women and meant only for women, she said.

These encouraging factors, however, should not make policy makers refrain from assessing the performance of women police. Ms. Bedi, who was responsible for improving the conditions in Tihar jail, refused to subscribe to the view that the police force needed "gender sensitisation."

On the proposed amendments to the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, which tend to treat "women in trafficking" as "victims,'' Ms. Bedi said a crime should be viewed in its totality and must be handled within the purview of the provisions of the law. "The law treats all equally," she said.

Ms. Bedi, now on a United Nations assignment, was in Salem on Saturday to inaugurate the two-day Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Salem Indian Women's Association.

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