Mumbai cops give women in distress lift

Friday, 10 January 2014 - 11:09am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Police vans reach out to those stranded in the night and drop them at nearby railway stations.
  • Prashant Chaugule DNA

Here’s a piece of good news for women who stay out late in the night, especially those finding it difficult to get transport to the nearest railway station or their destination.  Instead of waiting at secluded locations to get an auto or a taxi, they can now hitch a ride in a police van.

In their efforts to curb crimes against women and instill a sense of safety into the citizens, the Mumbai police have started an exclusive-for-women service to help those in distress.

The force has formed special teams in all the 93 police stations across the city for this purpose.

Each team will have a woman officer, a woman constable and two male constables. The teams have been equipped with special vans, which will move around in areas that are within the purview of a specific police station, according to officials.

Rajendra Chavan, senior inspector of DN Nagar police station, said their special vehicle has given lifts to several women who get stranded at different locations at odd hours due to unavailability of transport options.

Chavan said, “During the night, the vehicle moves around to help distressed women or those in difficulty. It provides lifts to those who have got stuck at a place. The van drops them either to their homes or to a place from where they can reach their destination safely.”

The official said the special team’s responsibility is not limited to helping women at odd hours. “During daytime, the van moves around crowded locations such as colleges, railway stations, which often see incidents like chain-snatching and molestation. Our vehicle goes around Manish Nagar, Bhavan’s College and other crowded places during the day,” he said.

Additional commissioner of police (west) Vishwas Nangre Patil said the service has helped improve the safety situation to a large extent in the last one month. “There are 21 such vans in the western region and the response has been huge. It has also brought those caught harassing women in crowded locations to police stations for interrogation,” he said.

Payal Prasad, a Goregaon resident, who often gets late from her work, said the initiative is good, feels there are few such vehicles. “The Delhi gang rape took place because the victim and her friend were unable get a vehicle for their homes. So they randomly got into an unauthorised bus. So this is definitely a welcome initiative for people like us.”

Hitch a ride in police van to safety
In their efforts to curb crimes against women and instill a sense of safety into the citizens, the Mumbai police have started an exclusive-for-women service to help those in distress.

The force has formed special teams in all the 93 police stations in the city.

The teams have been equipped with special vans to help distressed women or those who have been stranded due to unavailability of transport.


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