Policewomen in Karnataka will no longer be seen wearing sarees and will instead wear standard khaki uniforms consisting of pants and shirts along with belt and boots. The decision was taken by Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG/IG) Neelamani N Raju in a recent meeting. The decision was taken to make it easier for policewomen to react faster in the event of a crime.
Neelamani Raju held discussions with senior police officers including women police personnel before an order was issued to this effect. In particular, the issue of catching chain-snatchers and managing large crowds were highlighted in the discussion held on September 3 with women police officials. The DG/IGP suggested that women will be comfortable and faster wearing standard shirt and pant uniform instead of sarees.
While high ranking women officers wear shirts and pants, constables in the state still continue to wear khaki sarees. From now on, sarees will only be permitted on special occasions.
Before now, women officials got an option between sarees and chudidars on completion of five years in service. “Sarees were not compulsory but now it has been done away with," a senior police official told Times of India.
Meanwhile, ground rules were introduced for women in the police force directing them to keep their hair tied in a bun, avoid colouring of hair or wearing flowers or makeup. Earrings, if worn should be small in size with no dangling parts, says the order.
The decision will apply to all women police officials in Karnataka. There are around 5,000 women police officials in the state, which is less than 5% of the overall strength of 95,000 police officials.
Earlier in July, the Karnataka State Reserve Police had taken a similar decision to do away with saris and make trousers and shirts mandatory.