An assistant police inspector’s husband, who is a constable, picked up her service revolver one day and pointed it at their daughter and her. The couple had been going through marital dispute arising out of the wife holding a higher rank than her husband. The next day she deposited her service weapon in the department. In another case, a constable sought annulment of his marriage because he felt that his wife, also a constable, doesn’t spend time at home.
In the past one year, around 30 cases of family dispute have been registered at the Women’s Grievance Redressal Cell of the Pune police and Pune court together in which one of the persons or both are cops. In two of these cases, the women police officers deposited their service weapons fearing misuse by their husbands.
When the Pune police set up the cell on Women’s Day in 2008, the idea was to create a platform where the police could play an active role in resolving family disputes and crimes against women. However, in the past one year, the cell has received 15 complaints involving cops — 10 more compared to the previous year.
Inspector Smita Jadhav, the officer in-charge of the cell, said, “A lot of women police staffers, whose husbands are also cops, are approaching us. One of the most important reasons behind these family disputes is that the police staffers are apparently not being able to give enough time at home due to hectic duties and frequent cancellations of leaves during the festive season. The second important reason is extra-marital affairs or the suspicion of it from either or both sides. Almost all the cases that come to us are from staffers of constable level and not the officers.”
Advocate Supriya Kothari, who also runs a helpline for women, said, “In the past one year, at least 20 complaints have been registered in which family dispute of cops have come to fore. We also have had two cases in one year in which women police officers deposited their weapons fearing misuse by husbands. In another case, a woman police officer’s father-in-law is a head constable of a police station, which leads to ego clashes at home. We also have cases in which wives of inspector-rank officers have approached us with complaints about their husbands’ extra-marital affairs.”
Jadhav said, “These cases are dealt with like any other case. But as the staffers at the cell are cops, we can relate to the issues of the complainants and handle them better.”