In a breakthrough move, Kerala has appointed Sajitha O from Thrissur as the first woman Excise Inspector in the State. Before taking on this new role, she held the position of a Civil Excise Officer in Thrissur for the last five years. An Excise Inspector is given field or desk duties.
She has also served in different regions of the state, having worked with civil officers in Kolazhy, Thrissur, and Wadakkanchery.
In an interview with The New Indian Express, Sajitha has said, “Through a new provision introduced by the government, women civil excise officers in the state had a chance to attain the post of Excise Inspector through a test. I secured a high score in the test. Like me, many women will soon join the higher ranks of the department.”
The state of women police force
The police force is considered a male bastion, and has very women in high ranking positions, even though women officers have proved their mettle time and again.
Only 6.3 percent of women are registered as police personnel in Kerala, as per statistics released in January 2017. However, Kerala – which is home to India’s first women police station located in Kozhikode (established in 1973) - is taking requisite steps to promote inclusivity and women empowerment in the state. In May 2020, R.Sreelekha, the first woman IPS officer in the state, became the state’s first Director General of Police (DGP). She is also the first women officer to be made the DGP.
The state was also in the news last year, when another IPS officer, Merin Joseph went to Saudi Arabia and nabbed a child-rape accused.
That’s not all – women cops in the state also play a major role in the fight against COVID-19. Across the State, bike-patrolling units of women officers have been deployed to guard the quarantine centres, enforcing lockdown restrictions and punishing the violators of social distancing.
(Edited by Athira Nair)