Sensitivity Training for Hyderabad City Police to Ensure Citizen Safety #PolicingWithLove

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Damned for going to the police, damned for not. 

As an Indian woman who is desperately looking for reassurances from society and our police system that I have nothing to be scared about after what happened to the Hyderabad vet in late November, I’m sorry to say that I feel worse by the day.

I don’t want to feel this way and nor does any other person. So I’ve started this petition to demand a solution in light of the injustices that the victim’s family experienced when they went to the police for help.

While a minister said that the victim should have called the police instead of her family in her final call, the fact of the matter is that the same police refused to cooperate with her anxious family

“I am scared,” were her last words to her sister. As soon as the victim’s sister received this message and found her phone had been turned off, the family rushed to the police. And then 3 unforgivable things happened.

  1. The police on duty refused to file an FIR, and told the family to wait, despite knowing that the victim’s last words were of fear.
  2. They engaged in what can only be called moral policing by jumping to the conclusion that the “girl may have eloped with somebody”
  3. The police on duty refused to file a complaint saying it didn’t fall under their jurisdiction.

If this is the kind of support citizens are going to get from the police, then society is in trouble. And it’s each one left to fend for themselves.

I’m sure the Hyderabad vet’s family feels betrayed. Police are supposed to be the first responders. As citizens we expect empathy and rapid action from them. Not dilly-dallying, judgmental theories and evasion of duty.

The police in question should be asked to public apologise for making the family run from pillar to post during a stressful situation.

As we all know, thanks to the film Pink, citizens can file a 'Zero FIR'. This is a document that can be registered by any police station when a complainant approaches them for a cognizable offence, whether the case is in their jurisdiction or not.

We as citizens cannot let this injustice carry on.

Sign my petition demanding sensitivity training for all police personnel under Hyderabad City Police. This must include all 63 police stations including the women’s police stations, across the 5 zones.

The training must at least cover the following 4 aspects

  1. Reinforce the standard operating protocol to be followed when cases of crimes against women and children are reported. 
  2. Emphasize on handling calls for help with utmost empathy and humaneness. 
  3. Stress on treating citizens with kindness by ensuring basic courtesies are followed. 
  4. Make it clear that there is zero tolerance for judgemental comments of any kind. 

This kind of sensitivity training will be a huge step towards making Hyderabad safe for women and restore our collective faith in the system.

I am confident on the success of a program like this as I have seen it give great results in Andhra Pradesh when my own organisation piloted this in 2017, and is now successfully running training programs like this for the police.