Itanagar: Breaking another male bastion, women in large numbers have joined the police force in Arunachal Pradesh.
A majority of people in the Himalayan state are still against women entering the profession and largely regard policing as a strictly male affair, but more and more women are contesting the stereotypical view.
Today there are as many as 376 women in the Arunachal Pradesh police force holding such diverse positions as inspectors, sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors and constables.
"Many young women are these days willingly opting for a career in the police force," Doimukh police station in-charge Chuku Nanu Bui, a woman who joined the police department as a sub-inspector in 1988, said.
She said job in the police department was tough and hectic, but she enjoyed her calling. "There is full cooperation and support from my husband which gives me courage and encouragement."
Incidentally, her husband Make Bui is also a police officer and officer-in-charge of Itanagar police station.
Rejecting the notion that a lady cannot make a good police officer, Bui cited that lady police officers on duty in plain attire tend to collect more information than their male counterparts.
"Today women are doing exceptionally well in all fields. They are at par with their male counterparts. The police force is no exception," another lady sub-inspector Inya Ete said while encouraging more women participation in the police force.
In 2007, the police department had sent a letter to the government seeking approval for recruiting women to make up 10 per cent of the total force. The department is still awaiting its approval.
Police department sources said that if the proposal was approved by the government, it would boost the morale of lady police officers.
“Every police department needs women personnel. A female criminal can be handled only by a policewoman. Moreover, one cannot underestimate the calibre of her. It`s just that the right person has to be in the right place," said a top police
officer on condition of anonymity.
The Circle-Inspector of Miao in Changlang district, Toji Ete Singpho, one of the first women personnel in the state police, talking about her career said that she joined the force in 1987 as a sub-inspector. She was later promoted to the post of inspector in 2009.
Among the four women candidates who had then applied for a job in the police, only two got selected including Singpho. The other is Gari Dai who is presently the law inspector at Police Training Centre, Banderdewa.
"Only a policewoman can understand the sentiments and deal with female criminals," Sinpho pointed out.
Itiba, a trainee sub-inspector, who aspires to become a successful police officer, said, "Women are not only mentally fit, but are also physically so".
When asked whether she believed that women are physically weak compared to men, she said, "During training both men and women go through the same training sessions and practises; there is no special compensation or consideration for women".