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`All-women police stations have failed'

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, MARCH 14. An appeal was made in the Assembly today to disband the all-women police stations (AWPS) on the ground that they failed to serve the purpose for which they were established in 1992.

Participating in a debate, the Congress member, S. Maheswari, said though the AWPS were launched by the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to quickly respond to issues of atrocities against women, they were converted into places of kattapanchayat.

In the name of counselling, personnel practised kattapanchayat, she said.

Joining hands with the accused, they were reluctant to register complaints given by the victims. She also pleaded for a review of the performance of these stations.

K. Balabarthi, CPI (M), echoed similar sentiments.

Intervening in the debate, Ms. Jayalalithaa, flayed what she called generalised accusations against the police, more particularly the AWPS, which was launched as a pilot project. These stations won the acclaim of all.

The Government was constantly reviewing the performance of all 195 AWPS and 1,413 police stations.

If any irregularity in any of these stations was brought to the notice of the administration, corrective measures would be taken, she said.

Refuting Ms. Maheswari's claim that the crime rate was increasing for lack of deployment of adequate police force, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the police played a key role in the maintenance of law and order, which was necessary for an investment-friendly climate in the State.

Data available up to 2003-2004 showed that different types of property crimes, violent crimes and crimes against women had come down.

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