Gandhinagar: In a pioneering move, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday announced 33 per cent reservation for women in the police force.
"It is necessary to empower women for their uplift in the society. My government has decided to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in new recruitment in the police force. It will be implemented in all cadres," Patel, the state's first woman chief minister, told reporters.
The path-breaking initiative comes at a time when crime against women is on the rise in several states and is under media spotlight following alleged rape and murder of two minor girls in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh.
Patel made the announcement during an interaction with the media after attending a passing out parade at Gujarat Police Academy.
"Women have served in every position in the police force. When a mother has prepared herself to serve the society, state and the country, we have to provide them special training and special space," she said.
"Gujarat will be the first state in India to implement 33 per cent reservation for women in the police force," state's Director General of Police P C Thakur said.
"In Maharashtra, which doesn't have reservation for women, they account for 10 per cent of the total strength of the police which is highest in country," Thakur said, adding women constitute hardly 4 to 5 per cent of Gujarat's Police force currently.
The sanctioned posts in Gujarat Police is around 60,000, around 10,000 more than its present strength. There are around 2500 policewomen in the state at present. If the government manages to fill all 33 per cent posts for women against the sanctioned strength, the state would have around 19,800 women in the force.
Thakur said recruitment rules would have to be suitably changed following today's announcement.