Barely six months ago, the city was rocked by two back-to-back murder cases of two young women. While Antara Das was murdered on December 23 last year, Rasila Raju OP was murdered on January 29 this year. In March, the Pune police launched an initiative ‘BuddyCop’, wherein group of working women were assigned to a police personnel for emergency response and grievance redressal.
Under the system, working women attached with BuddyCop can contact the assigned police officer through phone calls, WhatsApp and email. So far, nearly 10,000 working women have enrolled for the system.
Commenting on the effectiveness of the BuddyCop system, a senior inspector with one of the city police stations gives examples of two cases that were registered around mid April. In the first case, he says, a woman employee informed him over the phone about a man who had been stalking her and making lewd remarks. Within five to six minutes of receiving the call, the cops reached the spot and nabbed the accused, Kishor Ramdas Auti. In the second case, a woman caught a security guard of the company in the washroom, who was hiding inside a cabinet and was trying to click pictures. “In this case too, the woman contacted me over the phone and I immediately sent my cop to the spot,” he says, adding the accused, Rajkamal Bahadur Yadav, was arrested. The chargesheets in both the cases were filed within a week, said the inspector.
In addition, the inspector said that the police department had recently organised awareness programme in Kharadi on safety and security measures for the HR heads of the company and security staff. The event was also attended by nearly 3,000 women employees of different companies.
Talking about the issue of safety and security of women in the city, Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla, said, “We are always there to help the women and have made provisions for their safety. But they should feel free to approach us, share their complaints and be firm about their complaints. The BuddyCop system has been very effective in terms of reaching out to women employees. Earlier, four police stations were attached to BuddyCop, now there are eight.”
The eight police stations attached to BuddyCop are Chandannagar, Hadapsar, Hinjewadi, Yerwada, Kondhwa, Chatushrungi, Wakad and Bharati Vidyapeeth. As many as 20 policemen from each police station work as ‘buddy cop’. On Friday, the Pune police department launched another initiative for the safety and security of women – CitySafe, a free mobile app that allows the users to alert officials in case of an emergency and share their location with the police control room.